UNFPA state of world population 2016

No. of pages: 116

Publication date: October 2016

Author: UNFPA

Publisher: UNFPA

Investing in 10-year-old girls could yield huge demographic dividend, pump billions into national economies

  • Girls are less likely than boys to complete schooling and more likely to face forced marriage, child labour, female genital mutilation and other undermining practices.

  • More than half of the world’s 65 million 10-year-old girls live in the 48 countries with the worst gender inequality.

  • $21 billion a year dividend for developing countries can be unlocked if all 10-year-old girls complete secondary education.

Key statistics

  • Nine out of 10 10-year-old girls live in developing countries, and one in five lives in a least developed country: one in five is in India, and one in eight in China.

  • Each year of education delivers an additional 11.7 per cent uplift in wages in later life for girls (compared with 9.6 per cent for men). Yet, 16 million girls between 6 and 11 will never start school, twice the number of boys.

  • If all the 10-year-old girls who drop out of school or do not attend school in developing countries completed secondary education, they would trigger a $21 billion annual dividend.

  • Ten per cent of 5-to-14 year-old girls do more than 28 hours of household chores per week, twice that of boys. Three in four girl labourers are unpaid.

  • Every day, an estimated 47,700 girls are married before 18.