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Submitted by Wolfgang on

Thank you for your wonderful illustration of your own family’s “demographic transition”, even though yours is even more radical than in the more typical African family.
While some countries may have already benefitted from the demographic dividend, the biggest opportunities are yet to come, especially in Africa, because life expectancy is still catching up. However, as you highlight, the demographic transition creates an opportunity – no guarantee of success (see also the contribution by Anton D above) – and policy makers can use this opportunity or squander it. One critical example is the management of urban centers, a challenge that also results from changing demographics.
It is also important to note that despite the decline in fertility (typically not as extreme as in your case but very real everywhere) the total number of children in your country will still rise. Why? Due to the “base effect”. There are many more potential mothers and fathers in their 20s and 30s today due to their parents’ higher number of children. Even if these young families are smaller the total number of children should still rise.