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INDONESIA’S DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND OR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY?

Mayling Oey Gardnier, Peter Gardnier

Abstract


As the world’s fourth largest populous nation, Indonesia is predicted to reach the
height of its so-called demographic dividend between 2020 and 2030 when the share
of population in working ages will be at its highest level and the potential for increased
output per capita and hence more productive investment will theoretically be at its
peak. But the ability to maximize this potential is far from certain and depends on a
variety of social and economic underpinnings, including key issues associated with
human resource capacity and gender equality that will determine how well Indonesia
is placed to meet the challenges involved. This contribution first reviews the history
of demographic and social transformations, including the dramatic shift from anti- to
pro-natalist policies that have occurred in Indonesia since independence. Set against
a deterministic trend of an age-sex specific population projection, we seek to provide
an assessment of these past trends in demographic and social dynamics in relationship
to the current state of preparedness, with a focus on social and gender-related issues.
Finally, we will outline several of the key challenges, particularly in the context of the
current socio-economic and political climate that will ultimately determine whether
Indonesia will move into a future real demographic dividend or only observe the world
through a window of opportunity.
Keywords: Demographic dividend, Population, Labour, Pro-natalist policies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14203/jmi.v39i2.626

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