Reaping the Benefits of Demographic Dividends in Sub-Saharan African Countries: When Are Their Windows of Opportunity and What Is Different Compared to Experiences Elsewhere?

Elke Loichinger , Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

An essential precondition for reaping the benefits of a demographic dividend is a decline in mortality and the subsequent decline in fertility. During this intermediate phase of the demographic transition, resources are freeing up that can be invested in economic development or family welfare. While the factors and circumstances that led selected Asian and Latin American countries to benefit from a change in their populations’ age structure are well documented, the factors that are likely to allow African countries to benefit from the demographic transition are much less clear. The aim of the present study is twofold. First, to calculate the window of opportunity to benefit from changes in populations’ age structure for each Sub-Saharan African country. This will be based on data for consumption and labor income from the National Transfer Account (NTA) project in combination with data for population projections. The second goal is to present a compilation of enabling factors that are likely to be the same as in other countries that benefited from a demographic dividend, as well as those that are likely to play a particular role in the Sub-Saharan African context. Expected similar factors are for example investments in education and the quality of institutions. Aspects that are different nowadays compared to the situation in the past will for example be changing global macroeconomic patterns as well as challenges related to climate change.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality