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The Demographic Dividend: It’’s Not Just for Demographers Anymore

April 8, 2013

Demography is not destiny, but population dynamics can have profound impacts on the course of history. Ministers across sectors, from health and education to finance and security, are talking about the combination of policy investments that can jumpstart economic growth: the demographic dividend. 

Researchers and policymakers alike are asking: what can we learn from countries like South Korea and Singapore, where the demographic dividend accounts for roughly a third of the vibrant economic growth seen in recent decades? How can today’’s low-income countries follow suit to lift billions from poverty and set a sustainable course for development?

This roundtable features the latest thinking on this issue from experts in development, demography, finance and health on how to create and seize the opportunity for demographic dividend. Most importantly, panelists show that while it is by no means a guarantee, it can be done: with the right policies and the right investments, today’’s low-income countries can catalyze economic growth and set course for a sustainable and prosperous future.


Shanta Devarajan
Chief Economist, World Bank Africa Region

Eliya Zulu
Executive Director, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)

Steve Feldstein
Director, Office of Policy, Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning, USAID


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