Population Age Structure and Its Relation to Civil Conflict: A Graphic Metric
Recent studies suggest that a large “youth bulge”—a youthful population age structure—can increase the risk of the onset of civil conflict and political violence (Urdal, 2006, Cincotta et al., 2003). These studies exclude states with a recent history of civil conflict, reasoning that they are already highly vulnerable to persistent and re-emerging violence (Collier et al., 2002). Can these two quantifiable variables—population age structure and recent history of civil unrest—be used to project risks of civil conflict a decade into the future?
About the Authors
Demographer in Residence, The Stimson Center
Elizabeth Leahy Madsen
Environmental Change and Security Program
The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy. Read more