While a ‘graying’ of the population is occurring in some countries, other parts of the world are experiencing the a quite different trend. The contrast that exists between the oldest and youngest populations of the world is rather stark. Countries with older populations tend to be more economically developed, resulting in better nutrition, health care services and government support in retirement. In these countries, people tend to have fewer children and to live longer.
In poorer countries, meanwhile, fertility is higher and people more often die in young adulthood as a consequence of war or from infectious diseases and complications related to childbearing. It is necessary for the governments of countries with younger populations to make access to both education and birth control easier for their citizens, and persuade their citizenries to reconsider cultural norms regarding family size and planning.
Countries with young populations have significant opportunities ahead of them. A younger population means a larger upcoming workforce and more opportunities for innovation and economic growth. These young people also will need jobs and economic opportunities as they grow older, and, as their respective countries’ populations continue to grow, simply spreading what little wealth is already available will simply not be an option.
Here are the top 20 countries with the youngest populations in the world.
% of population below 18 years old
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Principe