Philippine Standard time

Exploring Implications of the 'Youth Bulge' on the Agricultural Sector in the Philippines

Population growth in the Philippines continues to outpace that of many other Southeast Asian nations. While a transition to lower fertility is occurring, it is occurring more slowly than in the rest of the region. The nation faces new challenges because of fertility decline from previously high levels. One such challenge stems from a change in the population’s age structure referred to as the ‘youth bulge’. There is a growing number and proportion of the population between 15 and 30 years of age at this point in the country’s history. This age cohort is a major driving force behind change owing to their size, character and role in modernization. Research has addressed, in part, the role and the concerns of youth in urban areas of the country. Little attempt has been made to assess the implications of the growing number of youth and its changing social characteristics on the rural, agrarian communities. We begin to redress this imbalance by detailing the characteristics of the youth in the country with the view of exploring their implications on the country’s agricultural sector. A case study expounds on implications culled from the macro level. We emphasize the role of rural-urban migration, remittance, family life cycle and land tenure issues on the position of youth in the economy of rural areas. We find that the youth, especially the women and the better educated, tend to move away from the villages to the cities. Those left behind in the rural areas have poor access to land and are highly dependent on laboring in agriculture for cash and exploiting, where possible, free public resources such as public forest lands. The increasing number of youth, the type and intensity of land use by older families who control access to land, pose serious policy questions for the government.


This publication has been cited time(s).