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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Sub-Saharan Africa’s opportunity to escape from poverty is real and opportune, but the delayed demographic transition to low mortality and low fertility poses a serious risk. Without a faster demographic transition, Africa is likely to experience an unmanageable surge of population, youth dependency, etc. The demographic transition would combine greatly improved health outcomes with a large, rapid, and voluntary reduction of fertility rates. A low-fertility trajectory has the characteristics of a lower population growth rate and youth dependency ratio; and a higher ratio of arable land to population, rate of urbanization, level of schooling, level of human capital, total factor productivity, and GDP per capita. Accelerating the demographic transition would make it possible to limit the rise in Africa’s future population substantially, and thereby accelerate urbanization, schooling, technological advance, and economic growth.

Keywords: demography, demographic transition, climate change, human capital, malaria, urbanization

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