OPINION- World Population Index: India Becomes The Most Populated Country In The World, Surpasses China

According to the World Population Review, India may have already surpassed China as the world’s most populous country. India’s population was 1.41 Billion as of the end of 2022. That’s a little more than the 1.4 Billion declared by China on January 17,which witnessed a drop in population for the first time in 60 years. 

India, a country where 50 percent of the population is under 30, is anticipated to have the world’s fastest-growing major economy. The milestone was estimated to reach later this year, according to the UN. Swathi Suresh from OERLive, deep dives into these statistics and analyse what the future has in store. 

Global Population Growth Rate : 

The world’s population continues to increase, with approximately 140 million babies born every year. According to the United Nations’ 2022 World Population Prospects report, the global population is projected to reach 8.5 billion people by the year 2030, 9.7 billion people by 2050, and 10.4 billion people by 2080, where it will remain until 2100.

While the world’s total population is expected to continue to rise until roughly 2100, the rate at which the population is rising has been slowly decreasing for decades. In 2020, the global population growth rate fell below one percent for the first time since 1950. This decrease continues a trend begun in the 1970s, in which the population growth rate shows a consistent decrease when measured in five-year increments.

The rate of population growth varies greatly from one country or region to another. More than half of the world’s expected population growth between now and 2050 is expected to come from just eight countries: DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania. Particularly of interest is India, which is on track to overtake China’s position as the most populous country by the year 2030. Additionally, multiple nations within Africa are expected to double their populations in the coming decades as fertility rates and birth rates rise thanks in part to advancements in medical care and decreased infant mortality and malnutrition.

What does the decline in China’s population mean?

China’s one-child policy was introduced in 1980 with the express purpose of bringing population growth to zero. Although the policy ran for 36 years till 2016, China just recently entered “negative growth” and the number have begun to shrink for the first time in 60 years.

OPINION- World Population Index: India Becomes The Most Populated Country In The World, Surpasses China

According to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the nation was home to 1.14118 billion people in 2022, which is 850,000 fewer than there were in 2021. It reflects a decline in the country’s birth rate, which has been falling over the past six years to reach a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000 people.

A significant demographic shift in the world’s most populous country raises many uncertainties and implications for the future. Is China’s newly declining population really a surprise? And how will it affect the planet and the world economy?

Over the past 200 years or so, many industrialized nations have undergone a demographic transition—after an initial period of rapid growth, their populations eventually move from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates. China is considered a “post-transition” society that has already gone through this cycle.

OPINION- World Population Index: India Becomes The Most Populated Country In The World, Surpasses China

What happens next, however, is less clear. China’s birth rate is expected to decline, especially as the population ages and there are generally fewer women of childbearing age. But there are two big unknowns. First being Migration. China’s levels of immigration are currently extremely low, but this can topple things as they are in attempt to grow their economy.

Then there is the potential effect of government action to encourage the procreation of citizens. So far, they have not proven to be particularly effective, but some experts are concerned that they may adopt coercive tactics.