I’m working from home today–but uncovered some research I wanted to post.
For two years now, I’ve been investigating the mushrooming population of young people around the globe. Generation Y is already the largest generation in earth’s history. In the U.S., they have surpassed the Baby Boomers in size, and with immigration (which is the wild card), they could grow as large as 100 million strong. Worldwide, the youth population under 25 years old makes up nearly half the population.
Here’s the frightening part. German sociologist, Gunnar Heinson, at he University of Bremen, has noted that when a nation’s population of youth (ages 15-29) makes up 30% or more of the population, violence follows. Just look at history and you see he is right.
The Christmas Day Bomber directed my attention again to this subject. This young Islamic terrorist left Yemen on Northwest flight 253, and took with him enough powder to blow up the plane in route to Detroit. Fortunately he was caught. After review, however, I discovered that 50% of Yemen’s population is 15-years-old or younger. It is an extremely youthful population. Sadly, their only unifying ideology is anti-Americanism. They meet all the criteria for terror and tragedy: a swelling population of youth, few job opportunities for them and an anger at the West. It’s a perfect storm.
This makes me all the more determined to do something about this issue. My answer is: we must equip the emerging generation with the tools to lead the way into the future. To find their strengths and passions and serve them up to the world in a healthy way. Our team is off to the Middle East in January to host a train-the-trainer event outside of Cairo. We are working with a partner to translate and print the Habitudes resources in Arabic. (www.Habitudes.org) I know it isn’t the only answer to the problem… but it is one answer.
When you look at these issues, what do you think needs to be done?