Mapping the World’s Youngest and Oldest Countries
Country age demographics are determined by two key factors: fertility and mortality.
Throughout history, it was typical to see both birth and death rates at higher levels. But today, in most parts of the world, women are having fewer children, and innovations in healthcare and technology mean we are all living longer. The average person today lives to 72.6 years old, while the rate of births per woman has fallen to 2.5.
These trends have drastically altered the demographics of mature economies, resulting in a much older population. In many developing countries, however, births still outweigh deaths, resulting in populations that skew younger.
This visualization uses data from the World Bank to examine the countries with the highest shares of old and young people.
The Fountain of Youth
By 2030, the United Nations estimates there will be 1.3 billion people on the planet between the ages of 15-24. Proving to be a fountain of youth globally, the continent of Africa boasts the top 10 countries with the largest shares of young people in the world.
Somalia, Zambia, and the DRC are just a few to crack the top 10 list. The youngest country in the world is Niger, where almost 50% of the population is below the age of 15.
Here’s a full list of global countries, sorted by percentage of population under 15 years old:
|Country||Share of Population Younger Than 15 (% of total, 2019)|
|🇨🇩 Congo, Dem. Rep.||46.0%|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||44.7%|
|🇬🇲 The Gambia||44.1%|
|🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe||42.1%|
|🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire||41.7%|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||41.6%|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||40.7%|
|🇸🇧 Solomon Islands||40.1%|
|🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea||37.0%|
|🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea||35.5%|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||29.0%|
|🇨🇻 Cape Verde||28.4%|
|🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||27.7%|
|🇸🇻 El Salvador||26.9%|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||24.9%|
|🇱🇰 Sri Lanka||24.0%|
|🇵🇫 French Polynesia||22.6%|
|🇳🇨 New Caledonia||22.4%|
|🇻🇨 St. Vincent and the Grenadines||22.2%|
|🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda||22.0%|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||21.1%|
|🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago||20.3%|
|🇰🇵 North Korea||20.0%|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||19.6%|
|🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands||19.5%|
|🇺🇸 United States||18.5%|
|🇱🇨 St. Lucia||18.2%|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||17.7%|
|🇲🇰 North Macedonia||16.4%|
|🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||16.3%|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||15.7%|
|🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates||14.7%|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||14.7%|
|🇲🇴 Macao SAR, China||14.0%|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||12.7%|
|🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR, China||12.3%|
Young countries have significant opportunities ahead of them. A younger population means a larger upcoming workforce and more opportunities for innovation and economic growth.
While domestic markets in Africa grow in terms of labor supply, innovation, and potential consumers, there are also challenges that arise in these countries. Corruption, political instability and unemployment, particularly in Africa, are all potential barriers to prosperity for the continent’s Gen Z population.
Populations Skewing Older
The world’s oldest country is Japan, where 28% of the population is older than 65. However, it’s an anomaly—the rest of the oldest countries in the top 10 are all in Europe.
Globally, it’s the 65+ age group that is growing the fastest. According to the same UN estimates, it is predicted that by 2050 that one in six people will be over 65 years old.
Here’s a full list of global countries, sorted by percentage of population over 65 years old:
|Country||Share of Population Older Than 65 (% of total, 2019)|
|🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands||19.8%|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||19.8%|
|🇵🇷 Puerto Rico||19.6%|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||18.5%|
|🇭🇰 Hong Kong SAR, China||17.4%|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||17.2%|
|🇺🇸 United States||16.2%|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||15.9%|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||15.0%|
|🇲🇰 North Macedonia||14.0%|
|🇲🇴 Macao SAR, China||11.2%|
|🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago||11.1%|
|🇱🇰 Sri Lanka||10.8%|
|🇱🇨 St. Lucia||10.0%|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||9.8%|
|🇻🇨 St. Vincent and the Grenadines||9.7%|
|🇳🇨 New Caledonia||9.4%|
|🇰🇵 North Korea||9.2%|
|🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda||9.0%|
|🇵🇫 French Polynesia||8.6%|
|🇸🇻 El Salvador||8.4%|
|🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||7.2%|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||5.4%|
|🇨🇻 Cape Verde||4.6%|
|🇸🇧 Solomon Islands||3.6%|
|🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea||3.5%|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||3.4%|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||3.3%|
|🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo||3.0%|
|🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe||2.9%|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||2.9%|
|🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire||2.8%|
|🇨🇫 Central African Republic||2.8%|
|🇬🇲 The Gambia||2.5%|
|🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea||2.4%|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||2.4%|
|🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates||1.1%|
Fewer births, and a resulting older population, is a trend attributed to the changing lifestyles of women. For example, Japan’s fertility rate has fallen to less than 1.5 children per woman due to modern access to contraceptives and the prioritization of work over marriage and family life.
However, fewer young people also means a smaller workforce on the horizon and a shrinking domestic market. There is also a rising social cost of caring for the elderly, as longer lifespans have resulted in a higher prevalence of chronic diseases and an increasing inability to care for oneself. This can result in an increased tax burden on the diminishing younger, working population.
Another Perspective on the Data
Looking at the data from the opposite angle also reveals information about our world. Here’s a look at the countries with the lowest proportions of younger or older people.
Hong Kong and Singapore have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world (1.1), so it’s no surprise to see low numbers of children in their demographic data.
In a country like the United Arab Emirates, the majority of the population is made up of foreign workers, so the number of people in the 65+ age group is extremely low. In the coming decades though, the situation is expected to shift dramatically with one in every five Emiratis residing that age group by 2050.
The Big Picture
While each country has its own unique demographic make up, one thing is clear. As education and wealth levels rise around the world, fertility rates are dropping almost everywhere.
The trend of long life expectancies and fewer births is likely to continue, but young outliers will remain and they present immense economic potential.
The Population of China in Perspective
China is the world’s most populous country. But how does the population of China compare to the rest of the world?
The Population of China in Perspective
China is the world’s most populous country with an astounding 1.44 billion citizens. Altogether, the size of the population of China is larger than nearly four regions combined: South America, Europe (excluding Russia), the U.S. & Canada, and Australia & New Zealand.
Using data from the United Nations, this unconventional map reveals the comparative size of China’s population next to a multitude of other countries.
Note: To keep the visualization easy to read, we’ve simplified the shapes representing countries. For example, although we’ve included Alaska and Hawaii in U.S. population totals, the U.S. is represented by the contiguous states map only.
A Historical Perspective
Looking at history, the population of China has more than doubled since the 1950s. The country was the first in the world to hit one billion people in 1980.
However, in 1979, in an attempt to control the burgeoning population, the infamous one-child policy was introduced, putting controls on how many children Chinese citizens could have.
While the government eventually recognized the negative implications of this policy, it appeared to be too little, too late. The two-child policy was introduced in 2016, but it has not yet reversed the current slowdown in population growth.
|Year||China's Population (Millions)||Annual Rate of Growth (%)||Median Age||Fertility Rate|
The fertility rate has been consistently falling from over 6 births per woman in 1955 to 1.69 in 2020. Today, the median age in China is 38 years old, rising from 22 in 1955. Longer life spans and fewer births form a demographic trend that has many social and economic implications.
Overall, China’s young population is becoming scarcer, meaning that the domestic labor market will eventually begin shrinking. Additionally, the larger share of elderly citizens will require publicly-funded resources, resulting in a heavier societal and financial burden.
Strength in Numbers
Despite these trends, however, China’s current population remains massive, constituting almost 20% of the world’s total population. Right now 71% of the Chinese population is between the ages of 15 and 65 years old, meaning that the labor supply is still immense.
Here are the populations of 65 countries from various regions of the world—and added together, you’ll see they still fall short of the population of China:
|🇺🇸 U.S.||331,002,651||North America|
|🇨🇦 Canada||37,742,154||North America|
|🇧🇷 Brazil||212,559,417||South America|
|🇨🇴 Colombia||50,882,891||South America|
|🇦🇷 Argentina||45,195,774||South America|
|🇵🇪 Peru||32,971,854||South America|
|🇻🇪 Venezuela||28,435,940||South America|
|🇨🇱 Chile||19,116,201||South America|
|🇪🇨 Ecuador||17,643,054||South America|
|🇧🇴 Bolivia||11,673,021||South America|
|🇵🇾 Paraguay||7,132,538||South America|
|🇺🇾 Uruguay||3,473,730||South America|
|🇬🇾 Guyana||786,552||South America|
|🇸🇷 Suriname||586,632||South America|
|🇬🇫 French Guyana||298,682||South America|
|🇫🇰 Falkland Islands||3,480||South America|
|🇳🇿 New Zealand||4,822,233||Oceania|
|🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina||3,280,819||Europe|
|🇲🇰 North Macedonia||2,083,374||Europe|
|🇸🇲 San Marino||33,931||Europe|
|🇻🇦 Vatican City||801||Europe|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||67,886,011||Europe|
|🇮🇲 Isle of Man||85,033||Europe|
|🇫🇴 Faroe Islands||48,863||Europe|
To break it down even further, here’s a look at the population of each of the regions listed above:
- Australia and New Zealand: 30.3 million
- Europe (excluding Russia): 601.7 million
- South America: 430.8 million
- The U.S. and Canada: 368.7 million
Combined their population is 1.432 billion compared to China’s 1.439 billion.
Overall, the population of China has few comparables. India is one exception, with a population of 1.38 billion. As a continent, Africa comes in close as well at 1.34 billion people. Here’s a breakdown of Africa’s population for further comparison.
|🇨🇮 Côte d'Ivoire||26,378,274||Africa|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||20,903,273||Africa|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||7,976,983||Africa|
|🇨🇻 Cabo Verde||555,987||Africa|
|🇸🇭 Saint Helena||6,077||Africa|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||59,308,690||Africa|
|🇪🇭 Western Sahara||597,339||Africa|
|🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo||89,561,403||Africa|
|🇨🇫 Central African Republic||4,829,767||Africa|
|🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea||1,402,985||Africa|
|🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe||219,159||Africa|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||11,193,725||Africa|
Future Outlook on the Population of China
Whether or not China’s population growth is slowing appears to be less relevant when looking at its sheer size. While India is expected to match the country’s population by 2026, China will remain one of the world’s largest economic powerhouses regardless.
It is estimated, however, that the population of China will drop below one billion people by the year 2100—bumping the nation to third place in the ranking of the world’s most populous countries. At the same time, it’s possible that China’s economic dominance may be challenged by these same demographic tailwinds as time moves forward.
How to Avoid Common Mistakes With Mining Stocks (Part 5: Funding Strength)
A mining company’s past projects and funding strength are interlinked. This infographic outlines how a company’s ability to raise capital can determine the fate of a mining stock.
A mining company’s past projects and funding strength are interlinked, and can provide clues as to its potential success.
A good track record can provide better opportunities to raise capital, but the company must still ensure it times its financing with the market, protects its shareholders, and demonstrates value creation from the funding it receives.
Part 5: The Role of Funding Strength
We’ve partnered with Eclipse Gold Mining on an infographic series to show you how to avoid common mistakes when evaluating and investing in mining exploration stocks.
Part 5 of the series highlights six things to keep in mind when analyzing a company’s project history and funding ability.
View all five parts of the series:
- 1. Common mistakes made with the team
- 2. Common mistakes made with the business plan
- 3. Common mistakes with the jurisdiction of the project
- 4. Common mistakes with the project and technical risks
- 5. Common mistakes with raising money
Part 5: Raising Capital and Funding Strength
So what must investors evaluate when it comes to funding strength?
Here are six important areas to cover.
1. Past Project Success: Veteran vs. Recruit
A history of success in mining helps to attract capital from knowledgeable investors. Having an experienced team provides confidence and opens up opportunities to raise additional capital on more favorable terms.
- A team with past experience and success in similar projects
- A history of past projects creating value for shareholders
- A clear understanding of the building blocks of a successful project
A company with successful past projects instills confidence in investors and indicates the company knows how to make future projects successful, as well.
2. Well-balanced Financing: Shareholder Friendly vs. Banker Friendly
Companies need to balance between large investors and protecting retail shareholders. Management with skin in the game ensures they find a balance between serving the interests of both of these unique groups.
- Clear communication with shareholders regarding the company’s financing plans
- High levels of insider ownership ensures management has faith in the company’s direction, and is less likely to make decisions which hurt shareholders
- Share dilution is done in a limited capacity and only when it helps finance new projects that will create more value for shareholders
Mining companies need to find a balance between keeping their current shareholders happy while also offering attractive financing options to attract further investors.
3. A Liquid Stock: Hot Spot vs. Ghost Town
Lack of liquidity in a stock can be a major problem when it comes to attracting investment. It can limit investments from bigger players like funds and savvy investors. Investors prefer liquid stocks that are easily traded, as this allows them to capitalize on market trends.
- A liquid stock ensures shareholders are able to buy and sell shares at their expected price
- More liquid stocks often trade at better valuations than their illiquid counterparts
- High liquidity can help avoid price crashes during times of market instability
Liquidity makes all the difference when it comes to attracting investors and ensuring they’re comfortable holding a company’s stock.
4. Timing the Market: On Time vs. Too Late or Too Early
Raising capital at the wrong time can result in little interest from investors. Companies in tune with market cycles can raise capital to capture rising interest in the commodity they’re mining.
Being On Time:
- Raising capital near the start of a commodity’s bull market can attract interest from speculators looking to capitalize on price trends
- If timed well, the attention around a commodity can attract investors
- Well-timed financing will instill confidence in shareholders, who will be more likely to hold onto their stock
- Raising capital at the right time during bull markets is less expensive for the company and reduces risk for investors
Companies need to time when they raise capital in order to maximize the amount raised.
5. Where is the Money Going? Money Well Spent vs. Well Wasted
How a company spends its money plays a crucial role in whether the company is generating more value or just keeping the lights on. Investors should always try to determine if management is simply in it for a quick buck, or if they truly believe in their projects and the quality of the ore the company is mining.
Money Well Spent:
- Raised capital goes towards expanding projects and operations
- Efficient use of capital can increase revenue and keep shareholders happy with dividend hikes and share buybacks
- By showing tangible results from previous investments, a company can more easily raise capital in the future
Raised capital needs to be allocated wisely in order to support projects and generate value for shareholders.
6. Additional Capital: Back for More vs. Tapped Out
Mining is a capital intensive process, and unless the company has access to a treasure trove, funding is crucial to advancing any project. Companies that demonstrate consistency in their ability to create value at every stage will find it easier to raise capital when it’s necessary.
Back For More:
- Raise more capital when necessary to fund further development on a project
- Able to show the value they generated from previous funding when looking to raise capital a second time
- Attract future shareholders easily by treating current shareholders well
Every mining project requires numerous financings. However, if management proves they spend capital in a way that creates value, investors will likely offer more funding during difficult or unexpected times.
Wealth Creation and Funding Strength
Mining companies that develop significant assets can create massive amounts of wealth, but often the company will not see cash flow for years. This is why it is so important to have funding strength: an ability to raise capital and build value to harvest later.
It is a challenging process to build a mining company, but management that has the ability to treat their shareholders and raise money can see their dreams built.
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