Timor-Leste's National Human Development Report (NHDR): Youth, Wellbeing and Demographic Dividend

About NHDR project

Timor-Leste is currently the seventh youngest country in the world with a median age of 16.8 years. It is experiencing a very distinct youth bulge where young people aged between 15 and 24 compose 34 per cent of its adult population and population under age 30 compose 70 per cent of its total population. Timor-Leste’s demographic situation translates to a very high total dependency ratio of 87 percent, which means that every 100 persons of working ages have to support 87 persons outside the working ages (children and elderly).

Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are challenged by their aging populations and the associated costs to take care of them. Timor-Leste on the other hand has a rapidly growing working age population leading to serious social problems associated with potential mass unemployment among the youth. The projections reveal that at the current rate of labor force growth, 18,000 new jobs need to be created annually.

It is essential for Timor-Leste to respond to its current demographic challenges through strategic investments in human capital to eliminate risks around increased poverty, environmental degradation and social conflict.

Timor-Leste's 4th NHDR is a collaborative project between the Government of Timor-Leste, UNDP and Flinders University, Australia. The report will aim to provide guidance for timely and evidence based youth specific policies and investments to reap a demographic dividend in Timor-Leste. It will seek to promote public discussion around youth well-being and identifying socially inclusive and innovative ways to diversify the workplace. It will highlight the importance of promoting a vibrant and skillful youthful population that is not only physically and mentally healthy but also environmentally and socially aware and willing to participate in the development process of its nation.


Project Goals

With the proposed theme, the project particularly aims to

  • promote public discussion and policy making around realization of young age structures and investing in youth well being to benefit from a potential demographic dividend.

  • identify socially inclusive and innovative ways to diversify the workplace.

  • fasten Timor-Leste’s progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly in relation to improving good health and well being, gender equality, full employment and economic growth, peace and justice.

Through its preparation process, the project also aims to enhance domestic skills and capabilities in understanding, analyzing and interpreting human development, wellbeing and demographic concepts. This will be achieved through two short courses that will be delivered by Flinders University.



Total Resources required:

US$ 344,785

Total  resources allocated:             

                          US$ 153,240


US$ 25,000

Government of Timor-Leste



US$ 52,100

                                       In kind

US$ 41,140

Flinders University


                                       In kind

US$ 35,000


US$ 191,545

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