March 4, 2015

Asian youth feel happy and helpless

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special to Nikkei

The future belongs to the young. This is especially evident in parts of Asia. How young Asians see the world, their own futures and those of their countries often differs from the attitudes of their elders. Their differing views may go a long way toward determining their fate, that of their nations and of Asia.

Young people ages 18 to 33, known as Millennials in some countries because they came of age in the 21st century, account for 50% of the adult population in Pakistan, 43% in Bangladesh, 41% in India, 39% in Malaysia and 38% in Indonesia. But they are only 20% of the adult population in Japan, highlighting the fact that the rest of Asia is on a different demographic trajectory than Japan.

The implication of such population differences is widely analyzed in economic discussions. The shrinking workforce in Japan inhibits growth while the growing workforces in other Asian nations fuel their economies. Yet generational differences in attitudes about the future and the world around them also have broad implications for Asian societies.

Read more at Nikkei

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