Population of India to surpass China by end of April

New Delhi –

The United Nations said on Monday that India will become the world’s most populous country by the end of this month, overtaking aging China. The milestone raises questions about whether India can replicate the economic successes that have made China the center of the global economy and a leading world power.

The news comes as India establishes itself as an international player as the host of this year’s G20 summit. It is also becoming an attractive destination for multinationals looking to reduce their dependence on China.

By the end of April, India’s population is expected to reach 1.425 billion, meaning it will match and exceed mainland China, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said in a statement. Forecasts are based on the latest estimates of world population.

It is not clear exactly when India’s population will overtake China’s. You may already be doing so. Demographers say it is impossible to calculate the date due to limited population data.

Another UN report last week predicted that India would have 2.9 million more people than China by midyear, but that was based on early and mid-year population snapshots. Monday’s announcement is based on an analysis that sought to estimate when the population crossing will occur.

The Indian government, which has not conducted a census since 2011, has not officially commented on the estimates. The time when India overtakes China in population is likely to be revised when India conducts its next census, said John Wilmoth, head of the United Nations Population Division, at a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York. rice field.

“The exact timing of this crossover is unknown and will never be known,” said Wilmoth. “There is uncertainty in the data.”

India and China are neighbors with a complex relationship, including strong trade ties and long-standing border disputes. The United States and its allies have come to see India, the world’s largest democracy, as a counterweight to China.

However, their interests do not always coincide. India, unlike many in the West, has refrained from blaming its Cold War ally Russia for the war in Ukraine, and remains neutral despite India’s surge in purchases of Russian oil. I’m taking a position

Observers say India’s enormous size and young population offer the possibility of replicating China’s economic trajectory.

Since the 1990s, the young workers who have flooded Chinese cities to take factory jobs have been a key component of the boom that has made China the world’s second-largest economy.

However, China’s population will peak in 2022 and then decline. The United Nations says its population could fall below her billion by the end of this century. While the country’s elderly population is on the rise, the birth rate is still plummeting, with 1.7 babies per woman in 2017, but by 2022, the number of babies per woman was 1.7. she is 1.2.

By contrast, India has the world’s largest young population, high fertility rates and consistently declining infant mortality rates. But experts caution against raising alarm bells about overpopulation. India’s fertility rate, which was more than five of hers per woman in the 1960s, has steadily declined to two by 2022.

“The main factor is the level of fertility in these two countries,” said Wilmoth.

Historic reforms in the 1990s spurred impressive growth, and today India’s $3 trillion economy is the fifth largest in the world, thanks to a booming highly skilled sector.

However, India’s economy still lags far behind China. In 1970, her per capita incomes in the two countries were roughly equivalent, but according to World Bank data in 2021, China’s gross domestic product is now US$12,556 per capita, compared to India’s. compared to his US$2,256.

Economists warn that even as India’s GDP soars, so does its unemployment rate. About 80% of India’s workers still work in informal jobs, which are often precarious, low-paid and offer little or no benefit. Still, with active participation in the labor force, India could benefit from a so-called “demographic bonus” when a booming working-age population spurs rapid economic growth, Wilmoth said. .

India’s vast population faces many challenges on a massive scale, including the growing threat of climate change, urban-rural population disparities, declining numbers of women in the workforce, and widening religious disparities. It also means that there is

“For this century to belong to India, India must make the most of its demographic advantage,” said Brahma Cherani, a professor of strategic affairs at the Center for Policy Studies. “China’s demographic crisis is timely for India’s growth, but only if it can find enough quality jobs for its flood of young people.”


McDonald’s reported from Beijing. His AP writer Mike Schneider from Orlando, Florida contributed to this report.

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