Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why half of Nigerians could not vote this year

Nigeria has a median age of 19 years. That means that half of the population is over nineteen years old and the other half is under nineteen.
The median age in the United Kingdom is about 40 years.

Median Age is closely related to fertility rate.

Maps from Wikipedia: Median Age , Fertility Rate
Learn the basics of measuring population.

If a country has a high fertility rate or birth rate, the median age will be low. At a fertility rate of around 2 per female, the population will be steady and have roughly the same number of people in all age brackets (except those that die.) However, at much higher fertility rates, the population multiplies in each generation.

The average Nigerian woman has 5 children, and this is why the population doubles every generation. In Niger, which has the highest fertility rate in the world at almost 8 children per woman, the population about triples every generation.

While some populations are ageing (see Canada, Japan, and most of Europe on the maps), some countries are getting younger (particularly in Africa).

With a VOTING AGE of 18 in Nigeria, half of the population is (by law) too young to vote. By comparison, only 20% of the UK population is too-young-to-vote.

I think the voting age in countries (like Nigeria) that have young populations should be lowered so that majority of citizens can vote.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Interesting topic. So you believe that if more people could vote, the distribution of the votes would be fairer?

    The only thing I am concerned with is, the consequences of lowering the voting age to a number that would actually include those who are legally considered as minors.

    For example some would argue, if a 'child' say of 16 cannot be held as responsible for the same things an adult can, how can we trust that this same child deserves to vote?

    Alternatively I argue that in a way, the choices of today affect the adults of today and therefore their children are also affected, these children will inevitably become the adults of the future, and the environment of today will shape how they perform in the future. I actually agree with what you've said, I see the benefits in lowering the voting age.

  3. Thank you for commenting. Depending on the country, a 16 year-old may be middle-aged (statistically), and also may have adult responsibilities. So voting age may not be one-size-fits-all. That's what this post is about.


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