Nicaragua and the Last of Latin America’s Youthful Clusters

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After four months of political unrest and more than 250 deaths, the calls for Nicaragua’s embattled president Daniel Ortega to step down are escalating. One of political demography’s most robust statistical findings tells us that countries where an authoritarian government rules a youthful population, any change in regime typically yields an autocracy or at best, a partial democracy. Only very rarely has a liberal democracy emerged immediately after a rebellion in a youthful country (one with a population with a median age under 26 years). Given this, if Ortega is ousted from office, what type of leader should foreign affairs analysts expect to replace him?

The Freedom Status (Free, Partly Free, Not Free) of Latin American states by median age.

There are good reasons to be optimistic. Nicaragua—now with a median age between 26 and 27 years—is no longer a youthful country. Fertility declined from around 6 children per woman in 1980 to about 2.2 today, gradually shifting Nicaragua into the intermediate phase of its age-structural transition, which (according to the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report) stretches from a median age of 26 to 35 years.   More …. 

Read the rest of the NSB essay on Nicaragua/Latin America here.