Supportive Policies

Investing in young people

Investments in the health, education and employment of young people are among the most cost-effective development expenditures in terms of the social returns they generate.

For a large group of countries where fertility has declined sharply in the last two decades, the proportion of the working age population will increase relative to younger and older dependent populations over the next few decades. This shift offers a one-time window of economic opportunity. With appropriate investments, policies and governance that support young people’s health and development, countries can take advantage of this low dependency ratio, or ‘demographic bonus’, to launch economic, social, cultural and structural transformations.

At the policy level, UNFPA frames adolescent and youth issues within the larger development context of poverty reduction. At the programme level, it advocates for an essential package of social protection interventions for adolescents and youth. UNFPA supports building the capacity of young people, their networks and organizations to have a stronger voice in policy dialogue and decision-making processes.

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