Demography affects our daily lives. Consciously or not, we take into account the demographic context when making choices on employment, savings, health, and education. This report studies how demographic change is likely to affect demand for social services in Southern Africa and how today’s policies can be shaped to reap potential benefits from demographic dynamics and address the population’s evolving needs. The authors define the social sectors as education, health, and social assistance and social policies as policies related to these three sectors.
The study illustrates how social policies designed to fit with evolving demographic structures are likely to lead to wealthier and more productive future generations, fostering growth and equity. But the reverse also holds: ill-tailored social policies can hold back countries’ development and heighten intergenerational tensions.