2018 World Population Data
CHANGING AGE STRUCTURES | EDUCATION
Investing in Education Can Power Countries' Economic
Investments in education are critical to ensuring that a country has a skilled workforce. When the share of a country’s young dependent population (ages 0 to 14) decreases relative to the working-age population (ages 15 to 64), and adequate jobs exist for the working-age population, per capita income increases, making more resources available for investments in the health and education of each child. This age structure transition opens a window of opportunity to achieve what is called a demographic dividend—the accelerated economic growth that can occur as fertility declines and a population age structure matures, given strategic investments in education, health, economic policy, and governance.
Upper-secondary education (that is, secondary education at advanced levels) can equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be competitive in the workforce, helping them to earn more and fueling continued economic growth. Secondary education also has transformative health and economic benefits for girls, including delaying age at first marriage and age at first birth. Upper-secondary school enrollment is increasing in many regions but remains relatively low in many countries in the high child dependency category, such as Ethiopia and Guatemala.
New research suggests that countries become more likely to achieve high levels of upper-secondary enrollment when they are in the window of opportunity to achieve a demographic dividend. But these benefits do not develop automatically. Ecuador, for example, has made substantial investments in education reform, leading to drastic increases in both enrollment and quality of instruction. Countries with high child dependency must invest in improving access to upper-secondary education to generate a workforce able to drive accelerated economic growth.
Harnessing the Demographic DividendVIEW MORE
2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book: Trends in Child Well-BeingVIEW MORE
Global Employment and the Sustainable Development GoalsVIEW MORE
Family Planning Equity Among Youth: Where Are We Now?VIEW MORE
Appalachia’s Aging Population—More Residents Ages 65+, Fewer Ages 25 to 64—Signals Challenges AheadVIEW MORE
Early Marriage TrendsVIEW MORE
For countries with a large share of young people ages 0 to 14, investment in upper-secondary education is critical to developing the skilled workforce needed to accelerate economic growth.SHARE ON TWITTER