Looking Through The Demographic Window: Implications for Financial Includsion

Center for Financial Inclusion

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Date Published 2013
Primary Author Peter Kasprowicz
Other Authors Elisabeth Rhyne
Theme Financial Inclusion


As part of the Center for Financial Inclusion’s Financial Inclusion 2020 project, this report reviews major demographic changes occurring in the developing world and examines their implications for financial inclusion. Using demographic window theory, we focus on the opportunities and challenges developing countries will face over the next few decades as birthrates fall and life expectancy rises, resulting in an especially large working-age population in many countries. Decades in which countries have high work-ready populations and low dependent populations create a window of opportunity for actions that can maximize the productivity of their workforces through tailored financial inclusion policies. These demographic changes also point to segments of likely growth in future demand for financial services. The core finding of this report is that for middle income countries, financial inclusion policy should increasingly take into account the needs of mature families and a growing elderly population. The already well-recognized need to focus on youth financial services remains relevant, particularly in the poorest countries, but in middle income countries the needs of older populations will require increasing attention. This suggests greater emphasis in financial inclusion policy on long-term savings and pensions, among other things. The particular priorities will, of course, vary by country.

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