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Macroeconomic aspects of the new demography in the Middle East and North Africa (Английский)

Although population growth rates in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) are on a sustainable downward trajectory, the age structure is rapidly changing in favor of those of working-age. Young and unmarried adults seeking work and housing are increasing in numbers, a trend that is likely to intensify in the next two decades. These young cohorts provide an opportunity for invigorating economic performance through rapid accumulation and faster growth. But the mechanics of the demographic transition require well-functioning markets and institutions where a sustained policy effort is needed. If the slow pace of job creation persists and the private sector remains a marginal player, unemployment will rise fueling social and political tensions. Given its aging population, Europe stands to gain in the long-run from the rising numbers of working age adults in MENA. While the gates into Europe remain closed to emigration from MENA, the EU should support initiatives aimed at channeling investment and creating jobs in the region.

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