How Significant is Sub‐Saharan Africa's Demographic Dividend for its Future Growth and Poverty Reduction?

32 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2016

See all articles by S. Amer Ahmed

S. Amer Ahmed

World Bank

Marcio Cruz

World Bank; Federal University of Parana (UFPR) - Departamento de Economia

Delfin S. Go

Development Prospects Group, The World Bank

Maryla Maliszewska

World Bank

Israel Osorio-Rodarte

World Bank

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

Sub‐Saharan Africa will be undergoing substantial demographic changes over the next 15 years with the rising working‐age share of its population. The opportunity of African countries to convert these changes into demographic dividends for growth and poverty reduction will depend on several factors. The outlook will likely be good if African countries can continue the gains already made under better institutions and policies, particularly those affecting the productivity of labor, such as educational outcomes. If African countries can continue to build on the hard‐won development gains, the demographic dividend could account for 11–15% of gross domestic product (GDP) volume growth by 2030, while accounting for 40–60 million fewer poor in 2030. The gains can become more substantial with better educational outcomes that allow African countries to catch up to other developing countries. If the skill share of Africa's labor supply doubles because of improvements in educational attainment, from 25 to about 50% between 2011 and 2030, then the demographic dividends can expand the regional economy additionally by 22% by 2030 relative to the base case and reduce poverty by an additional 51 million people.

Suggested Citation

Ahmed, S. Amer and Cruz, Marcio and Go, Delfin S. and Maliszewska, Maryla and Osorio-Rodarte, Israel, How Significant is Sub‐Saharan Africa's Demographic Dividend for its Future Growth and Poverty Reduction? (November 2016). Review of Development Economics, Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 762-793, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2847976 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rode.12227

S. Amer Ahmed (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Marcio Cruz

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Federal University of Parana (UFPR) - Departamento de Economia ( email )

Av. Pref. Lothario Meissner, 632
Centro
Curitiba - PR, 80060-000
Brazil

Delfin S. Go

Development Prospects Group, The World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Maryla Maliszewska

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Israel Osorio-Rodarte

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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