What Percentage of the World's Population Are Children?

Data compiled in 2011 indicated that children younger than age 14 made up more than 25 percent of the world’s population — more than 1.8 billion children out of almost 7 billion people. Of the children who live in developing countries, it is estimated that about one-third live without the benefit of adequate shelter, one-fifth don't have access to safe drinking water, and one-seventh have no access to basic health services.

More facts about the world’s population:

  • Estimates indicate that around the year 2050, adults older than 60 will outnumber children 14 and younger for the first time in recorded history.

  • The estimated birth rate for the world’s population was 19.15 births per 1,000 as of 2011. This would mean that an average of 252 births occurred in the world during any given minute.

  • Mortality rates are lower than current birth rates. The death rate for the world’s population was 8.12 deaths per 1,000 as of 2011. That translates into an average of 107 deaths per minute.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of the world's population are children?

As of the latest data, approximately 26% of the world's population is under the age of 15, which is the demographic typically defined as children. This percentage translates to around 2 billion children globally. The proportion of children varies by region, with some areas having a higher percentage of young populations due to factors such as higher birth rates and lower median ages.

How has the percentage of children in the world's population changed over time?

The percentage of children in the world's population has been gradually decreasing due to declining fertility rates and increasing life expectancy. In the past, a larger share of the population was made up of children, but as countries develop and transition through the demographic stages, the age structure shifts towards an older population. This trend is expected to continue, leading to an aging global population.

Which regions have the highest percentage of children in their populations?

Regions with the highest percentage of children are typically found in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South Asia. For instance, Niger has one of the highest proportions of children, with nearly 50% of its population under the age of 15. These regions often have higher fertility rates and lower median ages, contributing to a younger population demographic.

What factors contribute to the varying percentages of children in different countries?

Several factors contribute to the varying percentages of children across countries, including fertility rates, healthcare quality, economic development, cultural norms, and government policies on family planning. Countries with higher fertility rates and lower access to healthcare tend to have a higher percentage of children, while more developed countries with better healthcare and lower fertility rates have a lower percentage of children in their populations.

How does the percentage of children in the population impact a country's economy and society?

A higher percentage of children in a population can have significant implications for a country's economy and society. It can lead to increased demand for education and healthcare services, and require substantial investment in the future workforce. Conversely, it can also present challenges such as dependency ratios, where a smaller working-age population supports a larger non-working child population, potentially straining public resources and social services.

More Info: www.unicef.org

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