Free «Demographic Dividend» Essay

Demographic Dividend

This week’s readings deals with demographic dividend and seek to examine whether the developing countries can benefit from it. From the readings, I have come to learn that demographic dividend occurs due to population change characterized by falling birth rates so that lesser investments are required on the younger population (Eastwood 9). At this point, the labor force increases faster than the population dependent on it. This frees up resources for investment in economic development and family welfare.

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It has also been clear to me that the developed countries have completed this ‘demographic transition’ (Lee and Mason, 1). In contrast, the developing countries are experiencing high population growths and the trend is expected to continue. In 1950’s the population in Sub Saharan Africa was 183 million. This increased to 863 million in 2010 and is expected to hit 1,753 million by 2050. This was the same scenario in the Asian countries whose population peaked 20 years ago. However, there was major fall in dependency ratio attributable to huge demographic dividend. The same is replicable in developing countries that now seem to enter into that window. However, demographic window is not permanent because age distribution keeps changing. As the older populations becomes less productive, dependency sets in again. How can the developing countries help the situation then? It calls for a country to come up with adequate and deliberate measures to take advantage of the window. Such measures should be focused on health, labor, financial markets, and human capital (Lee and Mason, 5).

In conclusion, due to the need for better living standards and quality of life, the developing nations will have to seize the demographic dividend window. However, it is also important to note that the dividend is not automatic and some countries will always take more advantage than others. This calls for sound policy formulation and implementation while also calling for political will to emancipate people from poverty in the developing countries.

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