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The Middle East and North Africa region has experienced some of the highest population growth rates observed in the world since 1950. These demographic trends have generated the most intense and persistent labor market pressures since the 1970s and have been linked to rising unemployment rates, especially among young adults. This paper provides a detailed characterization of the region’s demographic transition, focusing on the delayed fertility decline and the recent acceleration in the fertility transition. It utilizes an international empirical framework to analyze the determinants of fertility trends and to decompose the various factors in accounting for the decline of fertility observed in the region.

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