Come on young and very young

Publish date 25-02-2023

by Sandro Calvani

The youngest population in the world is in Africa: all the top ten countries with the lowest average age are African. The ranking is won by Niger with a median age (ME) of 15.2 years and 57% of the population under the age of eighteen. Followed by Mali (EM 16.3), Chad (16.6), Somalia, Uganda and Angola (16.7), R.D. Congo (17.0), Burundi (17.3), Mozambique and Zambia (17.6). To be clear: in Italy the average age is 46.2 years and young people under eighteen are 16.2%. But these ten African countries full of young people have a rather small total population.

In fact, five of the seven countries with the largest populations of young people in the world are Asian. In Asia, young people represent about 19% of the total population of the region and more than 60% of the world's young people live in Asia-Pacific. This translates into more than 783 million young women and men between the ages of 15 and 24. Given the staggering challenge to education, great strides have been made in the level of education over the past 22 years. In some megacities, one can find dozens of primary and secondary schools in every neighborhood and numerous universities.

For example, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, hosts 33 universities of which 18 are private. There are 38 universities in Jakarta, Indonesia and 91 in Beijing. The region is on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of universal primary education and secondary (high school) education. Net enrollment in secondary education in Asia is also steadily increasing and reached 64.1% in 2021, slightly above the world average of 62.5% (Italy: 62.9%).

The transition to the labor market remains a major challenge, as youth unemployment is more than double that of the total working-age population. The percentage of adolescent and young migrants in the total international migrant population is 19% in Asia and 13% in the Pacific, and most of them are women. The vast percentage of migrants migrate within the same continent. Gender inequalities have reduced at all levels of education, primary, secondary and tertiary, with the exception of a few countries. Teenage birth rates have declined significantly in most Asian-Pacific states over the past two to three decades, but still remain high.

Sandro Calvani
NP December 2022

The book by our collaborator Sandro Calvani,

Without false borders (Ave Editore)

was awarded in Milan,

on December 1, as first place

in 2022 for the ethics of human rights and peace,

at the Maria Dicorato International Literary Competition.

This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Click here for more info