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Benefits and Challenges of Young Populations in an Economy

Discuss whether or not having a young population is a benefit to an economy.

Category:

Demographic Factors and Population

Frequently asked question

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Answer

Use economic models to explain cause-and-effect relationships.


Having a young population can bring several potential benefits to an economy, but it also poses certain challenges. Let's examine both perspectives:
Benefits:
➡️1. Increased Labor Force and Productive Capacity: A young population can contribute to an expansion of the labor force, leading to an increase in the potential output and productive capacity of the economy. With more people available for work, there is a larger pool of talent and skills that can be utilized to drive economic growth.
➡️2. Geographic Mobility: Younger individuals tend to be more geographically mobile, meaning they are more willing to relocate for employment opportunities. This flexibility allows firms to fill job vacancies more easily, reducing labor shortages and promoting economic efficiency.
➡️3. Up-to-date Skills and Productivity: Younger individuals are more likely to possess current and relevant skills, especially in rapidly evolving industries such as technology and innovation. Their familiarity with new technologies and fresh knowledge can enhance productivity, innovation, and competitiveness within the economy.
➡️4. Attracting Foreign Investment: A youthful population can be attractive to multinational corporations (MNCs) seeking a skilled and energetic workforce. The presence of a ready supply of young workers can incentivize MNCs to establish operations in a country, leading to increased investment, job creation, and economic output.
Challenges:
➡️1. High Dependency Ratio: If a significant proportion of the population consists of individuals below the school leaving age, it results in a high dependency ratio. This places a burden on the working-age population to support and provide for the younger population, potentially straining resources and reducing the availability of funds for other purposes such as infrastructure or healthcare.
➡️2. Education and Training Needs: A young population requires substantial investments in education and training programs to develop their skills and capabilities. This investment may divert resources from other sectors, presenting an opportunity cost and requiring careful planning and allocation of resources.
➡️3. Inexperience and Lower Productivity: Young workers may have limited work experience and may require additional training and development to reach their full potential. This may temporarily impact their productivity levels and require investment in skill-building initiatives.
➡️4. Impact on Parental Workforce: In countries with a young population, parents may temporarily reduce their participation in the labor force to take care of their children. This can lead to a decline in overall output and productivity, particularly if support systems like affordable childcare are not readily available.
In conclusion, while a young population offers the potential for increased labor supply, geographic mobility, up-to-date skills, and attraction of foreign investment, it also brings challenges such as a high dependency ratio, education and training needs, inexperience, and potential disruptions to the parental workforce. It is crucial for policymakers to address these challenges effectively and invest in education, training, and support systems to harness the benefits of a young population and maximize its contribution to economic growth and development.

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I. 🍃Introduction
- Brief explanation of the topic

II. Reasons why a young population may increase productivity
- Increase in labour force size
- Geographical mobility
- Up-to-date skills
- Attracting MNCs

III. Reasons why a young population may not increase productivity
- High dependency ratio
- Need for more schools
- Less experienced workers
- Reduction in output due to parents not working

IV. 👉Conclusion
- Summary of the points made
- Final thoughts on the topic

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Up to ➡️4 marks for why it might: They may increase the size of the labour force - increase productive capacity / potential output -. They may be more geographically mobile - allowing firms to fill vacancies -. They may have
Up to date skills - may be fitter / physically stronger - raise productivity -. A ready supply of young workers may attract MNCs - increase output -.
Up to ➡️4 marks for why it might not: If a high proportion are aged below school leaving age - there will be a high dependency ratio - placing a burden on workers -. There may be a need for more schools - resources could have been used for other purposes - opportunity cost -. Young workers may be less experienced - less productive/skilled - may need more training - may emigrate -. There may be a fall in parents working for a while - reduce output -.

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