6. Old, Young, and Global Security

The world today faces aging societies in Europe, Japan, China, and the United States and youthful societies in much of the Mideast, Africa, and parts of Latin America. Too many of these young people cannot find productive employment. In many countries, youth unemployment rates remain uncomfortably high. When the opportunities for a normal life are diminished, young people often choose a path of violence.1

A wealth of historical studies shows that cycles of violence have coincided with periods when young people composed unusually large proportions of the population.2 Demography plays a leading role in global security because young people have never been evenly distributed in the population, whether today or in ...

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