NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Africa's Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend

David E. Bloom, Michael Kuhn, Klaus Prettner

NBER Working Paper No. 22560
Issued in August 2016
NBER Program(s):   DEV

We assess Africa’s prospects for enjoying a demographic dividend. While fertility rates and dependency ratios in Africa remain high, they have started to decline. According to UN projections, they will fall further in the coming decades such that by the mid-21st century the ratio of the working-age to dependent population will be greater than in Asia, Europe, and Northern America. This projection suggests Africa has considerable potential to enjoy a demographic dividend. Whether and when it actually materializes, and also its magnitude, hinges on policies and institutions in key realms that include macroeconomic management, human capital, trade, governance, and labor and capital markets. Given strong complementarities among these areas, coordinated policies will likely be most effective in generating the momentum needed to pull Africa’s economies out of a development trap.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22560

Published: David E. BLOOM & Michael KUHN & Klaus PRETTNER, 2017. "Africa’s Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 63-76, March. citation courtesy of

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