MENA generation 2030

Investing in children and youth today to secure a prosperous region tomorrow

A Syrian refugee girl in an Informal Tented Settlement in Jordan.


During the first half of the twenty-first century, an unprecedentedly large proportion of the population in the Middle East and North Africa will transition into their most productive years, opening up the potential for a demographic dividend – economic growth spurred by demographic changes. The most favourable period for the region as a whole will be between 2018 and 2040, when the dependency ratio is predicted to be lowest. This temporary lowering of the dependency ratio of the population has the potential to increase shared wealth and facilitate an expansion of opportunities for all – but only under certain conditions.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of demographic projections for children, adolescents and youth in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, highlighting the significant changes and exploring their implications for policy-making and programming in the areas of health, protection, education, transition to employment, civic engagement, and the empowerment of girls and women in the region.

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