A "youth bulge" in the Middle East and North Africa, comparable to the 20th-century U.S. baby boom, has helped fuel the anti-government revolts led by young people fed up with their living conditions, the National Journal reports
. Upheaval could be coming to still more countries that — like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain — are caught between stagnant economies, authoritarian governments, and populations dominated by 15- to 29-year-olds.
Population estimates show five countries in the region with even higher proportions of people in the 15-29 age range than the four in which uprisings have occurred: Syria, Algeria, and Oman (31 percent); Qatar and Iran (34 percent).
The youth bulge compounds already difficult conditions in that part of the world, write Middle East watchers Edward Sayre and Samantha Constant: “Most immediately, the burgeoning number of Middle Eastern youth has added significant pressures to the region’s education and health care systems, natural resources, and labor markets.”
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