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from over 5 million between 2010 and 2015 to under 500,000 between 2015 and 2025 and will turn negative thereafter. The only other region affected by negative employment growth is Europe and Central Asia, whose population is more similar in structure to the European Union than to the average developing country. In summary, employment growth initially will provide significant stimulus to economic growth, but its share will decline rapidly in most developing regions as the current generation of youth join the workforce and leave behind a smaller pool of potential workers as fertility continues to fall. The demographic projections for youths and the elderly are distinctly different in nature mainly because the future elderly are all alive today and thus the projection is based on changes to mortality rates that tend to be easier to gauge than changes to fertility rates. In fact, the UN population forecasts—the basis of the World Bank’s forecasts—are predicated on all countries converging toward population replacement levels of fertility by 2050. This implies an increase in fertility in

many high-income countries, where fertility has dropped to between 1 and 1.5 births per woman.20 Over the longer term, the increase in developed-country fertility would lead to a slight rise in the share of the population aged 15 and below, and even an absolute rise, sometime after 2020 (figure 2.11). The growth in the number of youths in developing countries will stay more or less constant on average over the entire time horizon— though again highly variegated across regions, with large declines in East Asia and the Pacific and Europe and Central Asia offset by positive if declining growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa and to a lesser extent South Asia. But even in Sub-Saharan Africa, the assumption of replacement-level fertility will lead to a sharp decline in births. Between 2005 and 2030, the share of youths in Sub-Saharan Africa will drop from 44 percent to 35 percent. Despite this leveling, the pressure to educate (and provide health services) for the young in SubSaharan Africa will be a challenge in a region that is significantly off-track in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Figure 2.11 Due to the demographic dividend, fewer resources will be needed for a declining youth population Youth as a share of total population (%) 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 High-income countries

East Asia and the Pacific

2005

South Asia

2010

Europe and Central Asia

2015

2020

Sources: UN Population Division; World Bank Development Data Group. Note: Youths include those who are 0–14 years old.

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Middle East and North Africa

2025

Sub-Saharan Africa

2030

Latin America and the Caribbean

Global Economic Prospects 2007  

Managing the Next Wave of Globalization

Global Economic Prospects 2007  

Managing the Next Wave of Globalization

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