We are young, and getting younger: research study

Results of research released on Wednesday shows that Myanmar is a young country, with 46.5 per cent of its population consisting of youths or children, and will even become statistically younger over the next few years, the study showed.
The Department of Population under the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population research paper on children and youths is based on population, census and demographic statistics from 2014.
The study shows trends in the population and facts on their social affairs, demographic statistics, lifestyle, health, marital status, schooling and employment. The facts and figures described highlight the image of the younger generation in Myanmar.
According to census and population statistics, 46.5 per cent of the populace are children and youths.
If the birth and death rates remain the same, the number of children and youths will increase a little bit within 10 years, estimating the number of children and youths at 24.5 million in 2024. By 2044, the number of children and youths is estimated to be 23.1 million. The study shows that efforts need to be made to encourage the country’s youth to stay in school.
Statistics show that 71.2 per cent of children between 5 and 9 are receiving a primary education, while 76.2 per cent of those between 10 and 13 are in middle school. But only about half of the children aged between 14 and 15 go on to state high schools.
The problem is worse in rural areas, with only 47 per cent of rural youths attaining a high school education, with 59 per cent of urban youths studying at city high schools.
Findings of the research show that one out of three children come from homes that use gasoline and/or candles for lighting. Over 75 per cent of children and youths come from families who use wood and gasoline as fuel for cooking food. As a result, children are at risks of health problems such as bowel disorders, suffocation and food poisoning, especially in rural areas, the study showed.
The relatively low rates of school attendance are tied to youth and child employment. Eight per cent of children between 10 and 13 are working. Of them, 4 per cent of the children are working in urban areas and 9 per cent in rural areas. Sixty per cent of male youths between 15 and 19 and 44.2 per cent of female youths are in the work force.
Studies showed that the employment rate for those over age 20 are on the rise. Workers between 25 and 29 reached 92.3 per cent. As for female youths, those between 20 and 24 are 59.7 per cent, but between the ages of 25 and 29 that statistic dropped to 57.7 per cent.
Most of the youths in Myanmar live in their hometowns, but one out of every 5 youths between 15 and 24 years of age have moved to other places. Fifty-seven per cent of the youth population has lived in other regions or states at least once in their lives, especially in Yangon. In 2014, when the last census was collected, 700,000 youths had been abroad. In some border areas, 50 per cent of youths had been abroad. It was found that 60 per cent of migrant workers were male youths.
In the research paper, children, especially those in rural areas, are in need of fundamental health care, drinking water, buildings improved with ventilated dry pit latrines, availability of more electricity and provision of health assistances.
“More investment needs to be done, and reduction of the hindrances to proceed to middle school education after completion of primary education are needed,” according to the research paper.
In 2014, the department of population released reports on population, census and demographics.
Based on these facts and figures, 13 detailed research papers and an atlas showing the results of the census are being compiled. Reports and research papers which had already been released can be seen by visiting the website of the department www.dop.gov.mm, it was learnt.—Myanmar News Agency


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