Youth and Public Policy in Colombia

Type Report
Title Youth and Public Policy in Colombia
According to The World Population Situation in 2014 young people aged 15-
24 represent around one-a sixth of the world’s total population – 1.2 billion
people. The overall number of adolescents and youth will remain relatively
stable over the next 35 years. However, the proportion of the world’s adolescents
and youth living in Africa is expected to rise from 18 % in 2014 to 30
% in 2050, while the youth population in all other major areas will decline
(UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014).
In the entire region, Central America has the highest proportion of
young people at 18.6%, followed by South America with 17.7%. Another
report (World Bank, 2009) indicates that in 2008, young people from 15-25
years of age represented 38% of people under 25 years in the region. This
high proportion of young people could present a significant demographic
dividend if the right conditions maximize their talents. The positive dividend
must be realized and capitalized to support young people.
Colombia’s youth population – those aged 15-24 years – is currently 8.5
million. It is estimated that the country’s youth population will peak at 8.8
million in 2030, and that between 2015 and 2035, Colombia will have the
largest youth population that it has ever had, and is ever likely to have (UN
DESA, 2012).
Yet, since 2000 – when youth constituted 14.56% of the population –
there has been a year on year reduction in the percentage of young people
in the overall population. This reduction is expected to continue unabated
until 2100 (UN DESA, 2012).
These changes in the country’s demographics will see the reversal of a
50-year trend, in which the dependency ratio (ratio of those of non-working
age to those of working age) reduced year by year. From 2015 onwards,
those of working age (15-59 years) will be under increasing pressure to provide
for a growing, economically inactive population, facing an increasing
competition for opportunities.

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