Demographic Profile of the Arab Region: Realizing the Demographic Dividend. E/ESCWA/SDD/2016/Technical Paper 3

Loichinger E, Goujon A, & Weber D (2016). Demographic Profile of the Arab Region: Realizing the Demographic Dividend. E/ESCWA/SDD/2016/Technical Paper 3. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Beirut, Lebanon

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Abstract

The demographic transition is a change in patterns of population growth, from high rates of fertility and mortality to low rates of fertility and mortality. At an early stage, this transition leads to a shift in the population’s age composition whereby the number of working-age persons exceeds that of economically dependent persons. More resources are then available for investment in human capital (health and education), physical capital, and economic and social development. This phase is referred to as the demographic dividend or demographic window of opportunity. Its duration varies between countries, and it is affected by various factors such as the speed of fertility decline (the faster the better), and employment and productivity rates.

Today, Arab countries are registering declining fertility rates and increases in life expectancy, although at different paces and starting from different levels. They are thus at different stages of the demographic transition and of the window of opportunity.

This study, aimed at analysing the demographic changes that Arab countries are undergoing, classes them in four categories: (a) Arab least developed countries (LDCs): Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen; (b) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates; (c) Mashreq countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, State of Palestine and Syrian Arab Republic; and (d) Maghreb countries: Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. It gives an overview of population dynamics and trends in the Arab region and assesses the window of opportunity during which each country could reap the benefits of its changing population structure.

Reaping the benefits of the demographic dividend is not automatic and requires an enabling policy environment. The study thus presents four case studies on countries that benefitted from their demographic window of opportunity by implementing sound policies, making recommendations for the Arab region.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 08:12
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2016 08:12
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/14194

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