The youth bulge in a graying world – a demographic challenge?

Today, half of the world’s population is under 25 years of age, while 11% of the world’s population is aged 60 and over. The share of young and elderly will rise significantly by 2030, when the world’s population is estimated to reach 8 billion.

Event details

Date:14 March 2014
Venue:Medelhavsmuséet, Fredsgatan 2, Stockholm

There are concerns about the capacities of societies to address the challenges of this demographic shift. The crucial question is therefore – how can we prepare for this demographic challenge? How can access to education, employment, health care and basic social protection be secured for the young and the elderly?

The UN Secretary General’s report emphasizes that the demographic shift requires a transformative change towards inclusive and sustainable development to facilitate for the needs of the young and the elderly. Despite this, some advocate that there is still a large risk that these groups are excluded from the new development agenda if they are not identified in specific goals or indicators. How do we make sure that the young and the elderly are subjects and actors, not objects, of the new development agenda that will be formulated?

Staffan Landin, lecturer and writer on global development, introduced the subject and set the stage by doing a Gapminder-inspired presentation of the world’s demographic situation.

This seminar discussed the following questions:

  • What societal changes will need to come into effect when youth no longer can support the growing elderly generation, and whose responsibility are these changes?
  • How can discrimination of both the youth and of the elderly be reversed, e.g. in access to power to influence their own situation?
  • How can we benefit from the “demographic dividend” in Africa?
  • How do “lost generations”- due to migration, disease and conflict- affect development? How do we build a universal and sustainable development agenda taking the diverse population dynamics into account?


Nesta Hatendi is an international development consultant based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Up until recently, Nesta has been working for HelpAge International as the Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa. Prior to this, she has been the Country Director for Voluntary Services Overseas and has more than twenty years of experience from working within the Ministry of Education in Zimbabwe. | Powerpoint

Chilande Kuloba-Warria is an organisational development specialist currently working to improve young African girl’s education with Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), based in Nairobi. She also serves on the board for Youth Alive! Kenya, a Kenyan youth organization working closely together with LSU- Sveriges Ungdomsorganisationer, in order to support the role and voice of young people in Kenya. | Powerpoint

Pernille Fenger is currently the Chief of the UNFPA Nordic Office in Copenhagen. Prior to her years at UNFPA, she was head of section at the Department for UN Affairs and Global Development Issues at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pernille has also worked for the Danish Ministry of Environment, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and for ILO in Geneva. | Powerpoint


For more information on demographics, ageing and youth, please see:



The World We Want 2015



The seminar starts at 9:00. Coffee and sandwiches will be served at 08.30 (please be there in time as breakfast is not to be brought into the seminar room).

For further information, please contact Malin von Strauss, UNDP, 0702-30 82 53, malin.vonstrauss@undp.org or Erika Beckman, Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, 076-541 10 12, erika.beckman@dhf.uu.se

The event forms part of the seminar series “After 2015 – The road towards the next global development agenda,” jointly organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and UNDP Nordic Office. This seminar in collaboration with LSU and PRO Global. The series is running throughout 2013 and 2014. The next seminar is to take place in early April 2014. More information to come!

Interview with Chilande Kuloba-Warria

Interview with Nesta Hatendi

This event was streamed live and commented on twitter with: #2015grayingworld