Youthful population

Photograph of youth people in the classroom

Many LEDCs have experienced very fast growth in recent years.

Birth rates remain very high but there is an ever-increasing number of people living in the economically active group (from 15 to 65 years old).

As a result many LEDCs have moved from Stage 1 in the demographic transition model to Stage 3 very quickly.

The high birth rate in LEDCs results in a high proportion of the population under 15. This youthful population gives a country specific problems.

The problems include:

  • Young children need health care - for example, immunisations. This is expensive for a country to provide.
  • Young people need to be educated - providing schools and teachers are expensive. Resources for lessons are difficult to access, and costly to buy.
  • In the future, more children will reach child bearing age, putting more pressure on the health service.

Implications of a youthful dependency population

Social implications Economic implications
1. Opportunities for Young People: Lack of education and employment opportunities may lead young people to crime in order to survive and make a living.1. Employment/Education: The large number of people aged 0 – 15 will put a huge pressure on the education system. Many LEDCs will not have enough money for universal education. There are often few employment opportunities.
2. Medical care: Very little free healthcare for children in LEDCs. In many cultures it is easier to allow a sick child to die and be replaced by having another child than by spending money on medicine.2. Healthcare: in LEDCs people cannot afford the most basic of healthcare and will rely on charities. Medicine will be basic and expensive – people will continue to die from treatable illnesses.
3. Overcrowding: Children often live in very squalid, cramped conditions which will allow illness to spread quickly. Many children will have lost their parents and will be forced to live in orphanages.
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