Global Youth Population Growth

What is Peak Youth?

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world. Half the world is under 30 and nine in ten of these young people live in developing countries. This is the largest youth population there has ever been. 

This matters now. Never before and never again will there be such a large generation of young people ready and able to deliver change in their communities.

We are in an era of Peak Youth.

This is not just a demographic statistic. It is a historic opportunity. The Peak Youth generation have the potential to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Climate, conflict, poverty and rights for all will be affected by their decisions.

Rewriting the narrative

Much has been written about the threat of this largest youth generation in history. Almost 9 out of 10 young people live in
developing countries. Around half live on less than $2 a day.

In many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, these young people will be entering labour markets where there is little waged work and little chance of escaping poverty.

The truth is the peak youth generation is more educated, tech-savvy, connected and involved than ever in history, and it is already
taking up a leadership role.

It is taking action. And for the first time we have clear Global Goals agreed worldwide, which young people played a big role in forming and will play an even bigger role in achieving.

For more, read our article online in the Independent.

The Youth Collective

To help us make the most of the opportunity of Peak Youth, Restless Development is building the Youth Collective - a growing movement of people and organisations committed to young people leading change.

Find out more and join the Youth Collective.

Youth facts

What is the Youth Population? How young is the world?
Over half the world’s population is under 30
[UNFPA, The State of World Population, 2014]

What ages count as ‘Youth’? How does Restless Development define youth?
Restless Development sees youth as meaning much more than an age bracket, but for these statistics the United Nations counts people aged between 15 and 24 years old as ‘youth’. [UNFPA]

How many young people are there in the world?
Today we have the most young people in history, with 1.8 billion youth between the ages of 15-24, more than 1 out of every 4 people on the planet. [UNFPA]

Is Africa still getting younger?
9 out of 10 of these young people live in developing countries. Of the six remaining countries where the average age of the population is still getting younger, five of them are in Africa. [UNFPA]

How will the youth population change in the 21st Century?
By 2050, one out of every three young people in the world will be African
[UN Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014]

We are the Youth Collective. If you believe in the power of young people, join our movement.