World Population Day. 11 July 2006 Language choices
Being young is tough.


  • Half of the world’s people are under the age of 25. Some three billion children and young people are, or will soon be, of reproductive age.

  • Universal access to reproductive health, including family planning, is the starting point for a better future for the 1.5 billion young people (ages 10 to 24) who live in developing countries.

  • In 57 developing countries, over 40 per cent of the population is under 15.

  • The number of youth in the world surviving on less than a dollar a day in 2000 was an estimated 238 million, almost a quarter (22.5 per cent) of the world’s total youth population.

  • Despite a shift toward later marriage in many parts of the world, 82 million girls in developing countries who are now aged 10 to 17 will be married before their 18th birthday.

  • The percentage of births to women under 20 years of age in the least developed countries is double that in developed countries. And this puts their lives and those of their babies at risk.

  • Pregnancy is a leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 worldwide, with complications of childbirth and unsafe abortion being the major factors.

  • For both physiological and social reasons, girls aged 15 to 19 are twice as likely to die in childbirth as those in their twenties. Girls under age 15 are five times as likely to die as those in their twenties.

  • Half of all new HIV infections occur among young people—6,000 every day, and young women are disproportionately affected. Among people living with HIV/AIDS under 24, two thirds are young women.

  • In 2000, an estimated 300,000 soldiers under the age of 18 were involved in 30 conflicts around the world.

  • About 57 million young men and 96 million young women aged 15-24 in developing countries cannot read or write.