UAE has the lowest percentage of young population compared to any other MENA country, according to the annual report State of World Population published by the United National Population Fund (UNFPA). Moreover, even on a global level, the percentage of the young UAE population is closer to the bottom of the list than to the top. High cost of education and lack of easily accessible social activities may be some of the main factors for this outcome.
The research has found that, in 2014, UAE’s young population (features adolescents and youngsters aged between 10 and 24) has reached barely 17% of the entire population of the country. That is 7% lower compared to the average percentage in MENA. Only Qatar, where youngsters make up just 18% of the population is close to this tendency. The countries in the region with largest population of young people are Oman (28%), Egypt (28%), Jordan (28%), Iraq (32%) and Yemen (32%).
With a population of which only 17% fall into the category young people, the United Arab Emirates is almost at the bottom of the UNPFA ranking for 2014. The two countries with the lowest percentage of young population in the world are Slovenia and Japan. Each of them has barely 14% of youngsters who are currently living on their territories. Also, at the bottom with 15% each are Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Hong Kong and Bulgaria.
Nevertheless, according to the report, today’s generation of young people is the biggest ever. Researchers have estimated their number at 1.8 billion, which is nearly one-third of the Earth’s entire population. The UNFPA believes that such an “economic and social progress” may not occur ever again.
However, the report also explains that these big numbers do not simply lead to big possibilities, but to big challenges as well. According to the study, 90% of young population today is living in less developed countries. In fact, young population is increasing with the fastest rated in the world’s poorest regions. A big part of them does not have access to proper healthcare and education. In addition, not many of those who are over the age of 18 have good job opportunities.
India is the country with the highest number of young population – 356 million. That is quite impressive, since China’s population is bigger compared to that of India. Still, it has 87 million less 10 to 24-year-olds on its territory. The third youngest population is that of the United States (65 million), followed by that of Pakistan (59 million) and Nigeria (57 million).
The United Nations Population Fund advises governments to invest more in the right and needs of youngsters. According to UNFPA, among countries’ priorities should be thing like education, freedom from abuses, early marriage and pregnancy, as well as quality health care