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Demographic Dividends: Emerging Challenges and Policy Implications

(From the introduction)

This book aims at presenting different approaches to the study of demographic dividends (DemDiv). Globally, demographic transitions are associated with diverse socio-economic contexts and timing, thus resulting in different DemDiv paths. Fertility decline impacts on age structures, thereby increasing the proportion of the population in working age. Changes in projected age structures potentially reduce the economic burden of the population ageing, thus suggesting a demographic window of opportunity to improve socio-economic development. The largest effect of changes in age structure for the coming decades will not be the decrease of young population (aged 0–14) and the rise of elderly population (aged 65 and over), but rather the increased share of population aged 15–64. Initially, this proxy of the demographic window dynamics results both in a decrease of the population aged 0–14 due to a fall in fertility rates and in an increase of the population aged 15–64 due to higher survival rates. Additionally, there is an expected high participation of the elderly population (aged 65 and over). However, such a window of opportunity has a time limit related to an anticipated age distribution that is leading to increasingly ageing societies. Because of its temporary presence, this window becomes a demographic bonus only if society and government truly commit to taking advantage of it from the DemDiv. Otherwise, if the window closes without proper improvements, the social and economic structure will not be able to meet the needs due to unavoidable demographic ageing.