The Demographic Dividend Key to Exponential Economic Growth

In our previous post on this series, we discussed the process of the demographic transition and how many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are beginning their journey into this exciting process. If this transition is well managed, it can yield a significant economic bonus or in more technical language,  a Demographic Dividend (DD). This was the case for many countries in the recent past - Thailand, Singapore, Philippines - to name but a few. Catapulting them into major economies. 

The DD is the accelerated economic growth that can happen when a country’s age distribution structure changes due to a decrease in fertility and mortality rates.  When the working population is significantly greater than their older and younger counterparts, it means that there are a great deal more people generating revenue than there are dependents who consume the resources. Therefore more revenue is generated than expended and there is room for rapid and exponential growth in the economy.

This is an exciting prospect with the potential of heralding a new dawn for the economy of many countries in Africa and elsewhere. A potential which we can indeed say is almost unethical to miss!

However, it is important to note some very important facts:

•    The potential to reap a DD is only available within a specific time period or window of opportunity. If missed, this particular opportunity will never arise again.

•    The DD can only happen if strategic measures and policies are put in place to ensure that the large working age population temporarily available, are well equipped and empowered to be truly productive. These policies must strengthen the areas of empowerment/health, education and employment. Simply put, if the large young workforce available are healthy and assured of their rights; well educated; and have decent jobs; the inevitable combined effect is an exponential increase in economic growth for the country and for it's people. 

Are the various countries concerned aware of this unprecedented forthcoming opportunity?

Are young people everywhere aware of this incredible opportunity that demands and cries out for their urgent needs to be addressed?   

This is a clarion call for awareness and action by all.

Join us in our next series of posts for more in-depth discussions on what needs to be done in these crucial sectors (empowerment /health, education and gainful employment) to secure the demographic dividend.

For more info watch the video below. Also, share your opinions with us- comment below!


The demographic dividend explained with graphics. Courtesy of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).