Demographic Dividend in the Middle East Countries: An Empirical Assessment

  • Prem Saxena


For boosting country’s economic growth, it is essential to know “What is demographic dividend and what is its role and significance in increasing the National Income?” During the demographic transition from high fertility and high mortality to low fertility and low mortality, age structure of population undergoes age-structural changes. As a consequence, a stage comes when the rate of growth of population in the working ages exceeds the growth rate of total population. In economic terms, it means that production exceeds the consumption and the surplus available could be used for economic growth. It has been empirically found that the relationship between GDP growth rate and demographic dividend is positive and its impact on economic growth of a country could be miraculous. However, according to Lee and Mason (Finance and Development, 43(3), 2006), demographic dividend is a one-time opportunity, available only for short duration of 30 years to 50 years, and it is not automatic. The latter implies that for reaping maximum benefit of this period, the respective governments should assert to create employment for the new entrants to the working-age groups. This requires planning in advance to offer jobs to maximum number of youths. For the planning, it is necessary to know the expected time when the window of economic opportunity would open and how long the favourable period would last. The present chapter, using the latest available United Nations population projections made in 2017 and released in 2018, gives the estimated years of opening and closure of demographic window and thus duration of reaping economic benefits for the countries of the Middle East.


Middle East Demographic dividend GDP growth International migration 



The author is grateful to Dr. Kuldeep Kumar, Professor and Head, Department of Economics and Statistics, Business School, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia, for inviting him to present an earlier version of this chapter at the faculty seminar organized for the faculty and research students of the Business School in August 2017. Some suggestions, which were received from the faculty, have been incorporated in the article and are gratefully acknowledged. The author is grateful to his daughter Dr. Shailly Saxena and son-in-law Dr. Ratnesh Srivastav for providing all the necessary help and facilities for this research during his stay in Gold Coast, Australia. The help given by Mr. D. Mestry, Librarian, IIPS, and Mr. D. More in preparation of this chapter is gratefully acknowledged.

The present chapter is the revised and enlarged version of the article entitled “On Harvesting Demographic Dividend in the Middle East Countries”, presented at the Business School of the Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia, in August 2017.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prem Saxena
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Population StudiesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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