While the pandemic’s health impacts have fallen mainly on older generations, in many countries it is the young who have proved most vulnerable to its economic impacts. For the young, this has become a crisis not just of health but of opportunity. For more than a year, they have seen job prospects dry up and their learning interrupted.
After years of population decline, many rural communities now host schools with more teachers than students. Declining fertility rates, low rates of immigration and population ageing have put pressure on local services, pushing up costs per head in facilities with very few users and in some cases forcing closures. Can governments continue to provide services efficiently to people regardless of where they live?