2018. 8 p.
UNAIDS Explainer
In many sub-Saharan African countries, declines in child mortality combined with a slow decline in fertility have resulted in children and young adults comprising a large part of the overall population. This is known as the youth bulge. The youth bulge is not new. Younger generations have almost always been larger than the previous generation. However, before the twentieth century, high child mortality meant that a large proportion of children did not survive to adulthood. Huge improvements in nutrition and health services over the past 30 years have had a significant impact on population trends in sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to remarkable decreases in child mortality—and large decreases in mother-to-child transmission of HIV—child survival rates have improved significantly. Young people in Africa are now not only surviving but thriving, and approximately 60% of the continent’s population is under the age of 25 years.
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