I suppose it might be difficult for a 20-year old to really, really appreciate what I tell them. If I were a 20-year old, I might not even taken classes that I offer ;)
Consider the simple aspect of having children. Even a hundred years ago, people did not give much thought to having children. People had kids, was a simple fact. If they didn't, it was either because they were biologically incapable--and cultures had lots of awful words to ridicule them--or they had opted for a life without sex. But, life has changed, and changed rapidly. Now people choose to have no kids, or only one child, or maybe two.
The pace of such dramatic changes leads us to being completely unprepared as "the largest youth population in human history is coming of age in a steady, unstoppable wave."
societies across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia are experiencing youth booms of staggering proportions: More than half of Egypt’s labor force is younger than age 30. Half of Nigeria’s population of 167 million is between the ages of 15 and 34. In Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, East Timor, Niger, Somalia, and Uganda, more than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25.Idle young men, in particular, filled with testosterone, can easily slip into various kinds of anti-social and destructive activities--more so if they do not have war or sex as outlets for the testosterone.
How well these young people transition to adulthood — and how well their governments integrate them economically, politically, and socially — will influence whether their countries thrive or implode. Surging populations of young people will have the power to drive political and social norms, influence what modes of governance will be adopted and the role women will play in society, and embrace or discredit extremist idesituatiologies.
As we ponder our path forward, we should consider that the developing world’s youth boom coincides with four interrelated global trends: an information revolution, the largest movement of refugees and displaced people in recorded history, growing urbanization that will concentrate youth in cities, and a rise in terrorism and extremist ideologies. Together these trends will spread not just people but, more importantly, their ideas at an unprecedented rate. They will raise and dash expectations pushing and pulling young people toward and away from their hometowns and homelands, toward and away from their desired futures. They will make young people around the globe aware of how others are living, the divisions within their societies, and how those they identify with are treated by governments, security forces, and other groups. This knowledge can inspire or anger. It can commit people to elevating their families and communities — or make them lash out against them.
I tell ya,
Major Buzzkill General Malaise is always ready to brighten your day ;)
This situation sets up the probability for more migration:
As poor countries prosper and their young become more educated, they are more likely to migrate. It explains in part why India has the largest diaspora in the world: In 2015, 16 million Indians were living outside India, double the number in 2000.
The youth will be highly motivated to move if employment prospects are dim in their home countries:
"Given the bleak future faced by many, it is little surprise that 40% of 15-29-year-olds in Africa, eastern Europe and Latin America would countenance a permanent move abroad."
I hope the political leaders are paying attention. Oh, wait, of course they don't pay attention. Which means, I get yet another opportunity to utter a favorite phrase of mine: we are screwed! ;)