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The largest global youth population in human history will have a profound effect on every aspect of our common future and can create a better world for all. The effect can be overwhelmingly positive if young people are able to develop their capabilities, have access to education and health, including sexual and reproductive health, and find opportunities to fulfill the promise of their lives.

This executive summary offers highlights from The State of World Population 2014, released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. This global report, titled “The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future,” looks at 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 release of The State of World Population 2014 is also accompanied by a regional supplement, “Investing in Young People in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.”