© 2006 Wendy MacNaughton, Courtesy of PhotoshareWith more than 3.6 billion people under the age of 30, the world now has the largest generation of young people ever. A country’s age structure, or the relative size of each age group, deeply impacts opportunities for development and plays a crucial role in security challenges.

When countries have very young or rapidly growing populations, it can be challenging for governments and other national institutions to provide adequate services and opportunities that keep their nations politically and economically stable. Investing in voluntary family planning, together with other key social supports, can help foster more balanced age structures and increase the chances for peace and prosperity.

This section of the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit provides some helpful resources on the relationship between family planning, security, and governance issues. A good place to start is with Population Action International’s report, “Why Population Matters to Security”.

If you would like to suggest an additional resource for the Family Planning and Security section of the Toolkit or share your perspective, please fill out our feedback form.


  • Wilson Center
    This infographic illustrates linkages between the age of a country's population and national security issues using Nigeria as an example.
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