The Effects of ‘Youth Bulge’ on Civil Conflicts

A new study by Population Action International (PAI), a Washington-based private advocacy group, suggests a strong correlation between countries prone to civil conflicts and those with burgeoning youth populations. Social scientists label this demographic profile “youth bulge,” and its potential to destabilize countries in the developing world is gaining wider acceptance among the American foreign policy community. The theory contends that societies with rapidly growing young populations often end up with rampant unemployment and large pools of disaffected youths who are more susceptible to recruitment into rebel or terrorist groups. Countries with weak political institutions are most vulnerable to youth-bulge-related violence and social unrest.

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