by Eric Zuehlke, editor
On August 12, PRB launched the annual World Population Data Sheet and accompanying Population Bulletin in Washington, DC, highlighting country, regional, and global population, health, and environment data and patterns. This year’s data sheet places special emphasis on youth.
The share of world’s youth population is growing in Africa and shrinking in More Developed Countries (MDCs). In 1950, 9 percent of the world’s youth lived in Africa and 30 percent lived in MDCs (Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan). By 2050, that share will change to 29 percent in Africa and 11 percent in the MDCs. “The great bulk of today’s 1.2 billion youth—nearly 90 percent—are in developing countries,” said Carl Haub, PRB senior demographer and co-author of the data sheet. Eight in 10 of those youth live in Africa and Asia. “During the next few decades, these young people will most likely continue the current trend of moving from rural areas to cities in search of education and training opportunities, gainful employment, and adequate health care.” With the right investments in health, education, agricutlural develomment, and entrepreneurship, a large youth population can be an opportunity for development and change. However, these investments are not being made in many countries. The fundamental question facing many developing countries is whether the needs of their large youth populations will be met. The answer to this question will largely determine the development, stability, and future of developing countries.
The data sheet shows just how stark the contrasts are between rich and poor countries in terms of population growth, life expectancy, income, and other indicators. Stay tuned for a webcast on prb.org of the data sheet launch at the National Press Club over the next week.
We welcome your comments, input, questions on our findings and the implications of this on the world’s future.
Here are just a few stories on the data sheet launch from around the world:
The New York Times DotEarth: A billion teenagers, for better or worse
National Post: World population to hit 7 billion by 2011: report
Daily Dispatch (South Africa): Africa Will Battle for Resources
Xinhua (China): Global population to hit 7 billion in 2011: US report
Pravda (Russia): Russian Population To Reduce to 110 Million by 2050
The Sofia Echo (Bulgaria): World population to reach 9.4 billion by 2050, report says
The Sun (Malaysia): US teen birth rates higher than rest of developed world
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