State of World Population 2014

The Power of 1.8 Billion - Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future

image of State of World Population 2014
Our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. Never before have there been so many young people. Never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people will define our common future.

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Obstacles to young people's growth and potential

Despite evidence in recent years of greater attention to young people, including through successful public policy initiatives, youth as a whole still confront many obstacles that keep them from safely transitioning into adulthood and the workforce. Tens of millions do not go to school, or if they do, they miss even minimum benchmarks for learning. Employment prospects are often dismal, with jobs unavailable or poor in quality, leading to a worsening global youth unemployment crisis. Up to 60 per cent of young people in developing regions are not working or in school, or have only irregular employment.

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