The demographic dividend is defined as the accelerated economic growth that can occur as a population age structure matures, given strategic investments in health, education, economic policy, and governance. This web feature expands the concept of the demographic dividend to project four potential sets of benefits—in addition to economic growth, it outlines benefits in child survival, education, and political stability. A country’s likelihood of making substantial gains in each of these four sectors is tied to its age structure.

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This feature explains how each of these “dividends” becomes more likely as countries progress through the demographic transition from high fertility to low fertility. For each dividend, as a country’s population matures and reaches a specific age-structure threshold, the benefits of that specific dividend become more likely than not. Countries cannot reach these thresholds until fertility declines substantially, driven by increased use of voluntary family planning. With a better understanding of the potential benefits of age-structure change across four key development sectors, policymakers can effectively channel investments in family planning and other programs to promote a demographic transition and achieve development goals.

See also the Insights article: Three Takeaways on the Four Dividends