State of World Population 2014 Report

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

SWOP 2014: The Power of 1.8 Billion

No. of pages: 136

Publication date: 2014

Author: UNFPA

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Young people matter. They matter because they have inherent human rights that must be upheld. They matter because an unprecedented 1.8 billion youth are alive today, and because they are the shapers and leaders of our global future. Yet in a world of adult concerns, young people are often overlooked. This tendency cries out for urgent correction, because it imperils youth as well as economies and societies at large.

In some countries, the growth of the youth population is outpacing the growth of the economy and outstripping the capacities of institutions charged with providing them basic services. Will schools and universities be able to meet the demand for education? Some 120 million young people reach working age every year. Will there be enough jobs to accommodate their need for decent work and a good income? Are health services strong enough? Will the young, including adolescents, have the information and services they need to avoid early, unintended and life-changing parenthood? Will the next generation be able to realize its full potential?

The State of World Population 2014, released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, looks at these and other questions to show how young people are key to economic and social progress in developing countries, and describes what must be done to realize their full potential. The global report, titled "The Power of 1.8 Billion," also provides the latest trends and statistics on adolescent and youth populations worldwide, framing investments in youth not solely as responding to the needs of young people, but also as an imperative for sustainable development.

"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," said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.

The release of The State of World Population 2014 is accompanied by the publication of a global Executive Summary, and a regional supplement, "Investing in Young People in Eastern Europe and Central Asia."