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The Population reference Bureau policy brief, (Gribble and Bremmer, 2012):1) described the demographic dividend
as “…the accelerated economic growth that may result from a decline in a country’s mortality and fertility and the
subsequent change in the age structure of the population. With fewer births each year, a country’s young dependent
population grows smaller in relation to the working-age population. With fewer people to support, a country has a
window of opportunity for rapid economic growth if the right social and economic policies developed and investments made”. Several South Africa based studies have explored age structure and the prospects of a demographic dividend. These studies range from those that explore timing of the dividend to those that investigate readiness to harness the dividend. Three aspects of the demographic dividend are investigated by this research. Firstly, the paper will explore
the age structure of KwaZulu-Natal population to ascertain the timing of the age-structure (youth bulge) that is a pre-requisite for the dividend. Secondly, demographic, health and education characteristics that are knows to affect the achievement of the dividend will be examined. Lastly, the extent of integration of the demographic dividend into Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) in the province will be explored.