The importance of health and wellbeing

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Pendergast, Donna
Garvis, Susanne
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Susanne Garvis & Donna Pendergast

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According to the United Nations, the world population was 7.2 billion in mid-2013, and is projected to increase to over eight billion in 2025 (United Nations, 2013). The population of the less-developed regions is relatively young, with children aged from birth to 14 years accounting for 28 per cent of the population (1.67 billion). In the least-developed countries, children constituted 40 per cent of the population - or 360 million children. In the more-developed regions, children accounted for an average of 16 per cent of the population (around 206 million people). This means an average of 26 per cent of the world population in 2013 was aged between birth and 14 years. It is predicted that by 2050 the relative percentage of young people will decline to 21 per cent and by 2100 to 18 per cent of the world population (United Nations, 2013). These demographic trends result from a combination of increased life expectancy, the effects of birth and population controls. It is evident that the proportion of the world population in the years from birth through childhood is large, and while it will decrease proportionately in the future, it will continue to be a dominant part of the world's population (see Figure 1.1). Children currently aged from birth to 12 years are all members of Generation Z. A generation is typically defined as the average interval of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring, with a birth generation averaging 20-22 years and a lifespan four times that generational length. Everyone is a member of a generation. Generational theory seeks to understand and characterise cohorts of people according to their birth generation. It is a dynamic socio-cultural theoretical framework that employs a broad-brushstroke approach rather than an individual focus.

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Health and wellbeing in childhood

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Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified

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