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The world now has the largest generation of young people ever

April 11, 2014

How Has the World Changed in the Last 20 Years?


Today, the world is very different, transformed by the digital revolution and advances in medicine and human knowledge. But has it changed in the ways we hoped it would?


1. The world now has the largest generation of young people ever.Adolescents and youth, those between 10 and 24 years old, accounted for 28 per cent of the world population in 2010. The world must invest in the needs and rights of this group, supporting their access to quality health care and education, opportunities for safe paid work, and freedom from abuses such as early marriage and pregnancy.


2. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty has been cut nearly in half – but economic inequality is now growing.The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 per day has fallen from 47 per cent in 1990 to 22 per cent in 2010. But growing inequality could undermine these gains.Today, 8 per cent of the world population has 82 per cent of global wealth, and more than a billion people continue to live in extreme poverty, without access to social protections, meaningful work, or public health or education services. The gains made over the past 20 years cannot be sustained if we do not address inequality.


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