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Friday, July 14, 2006 

Friday 14 July 2006

The youth is central on symposium population questions

ARUBA – A symposium with the theme ‘The youth in a changing society’ took place in the auditorium of the University of Aruba last Tuesday on the occasion of the World Population Day and sponsored by the Aruban committee for Population and Development.
There was great interest from organizations that one way or the other are involved with the youth, for this symposium. Representatives of several non-governmental organizations and government institutions discussed several aspects concerning the youth in Aruba, like the symptoms of a changing society, harmony of the labour market, the education process, the youth health, and the drug- and alcohol use of the youth. During the seminar, Martijn Balkestijn of the Central Bureau for Statistics and chairman of the committee summarized demographic developments and the individualization of the youth.

Individualism can go together with a strong social orientation, not only in the Netherlands, but also in the Scandinavian countries.
It appears that individualization means more than the growth of smaller community units. For as far as these units existing of more people, the self-sufficiency of the members also increases in these. It happens more often that married women keep their own name; partners more and more do not dispose of each other’s income; and they do not share each other’s circle of friends and time.

From censuses it appears that the number of residences in Aruba between 1981 and 2000 increased much more than the number of inhabitants.
The number of persons per residence decreased because of that. That corresponds with the trend to smaller households. You can also see the individualization in the use of cars. Being undependable from others by having own transportation and being able to move at any desired moment is also an individualization trend in Aruba.

Most households also have more than one object and do not share these, like mobile telephones, portable radios, televisions, and computers. The fast developments in the accessible information- and communication technology for everybody make the limitations of being individual obsolete.

The role of the woman within the family and the society is also showing itself in the individualization. Nowadays, women want to spend a greater part of their life outside the house, mostly for economic necessity.
Working women also spend longer time at work than before. This has consequences for the amount of children. In 1981 women had an average of four children, in 2000 this average dropped to about two.

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