India surpasses China to become most populous country in the world

While India’s population growth has slowed, it will continue to rise till 2050

By DTE Staff
Published: Saturday 21 January 2023

According to projections by the World Population Review, India has surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation. While India’s population was 1.42 billion as of January 18, China for the first time reported a fall of 850,000 since the 1960s and now stands at 1.41 billion.

The last time China reported a fall was during the ‘Great Leap Forward’, an economic and social campaign led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1958 to 1962, leading to widespread famine and starvation.

This decline has come about a decade earlier than UN predictions. The reasons estimated are the surging cost of living, the erstwhile ‘one-child policy’ (discontinued in 2016), and the ‘later, longer, fewer’ family planning campaigns.

WPR predicts that while India’s population growth has slowed, it will continue to rise till 2050. According to India’s National Commission on Population, it will reach 1.52 billion by 2036.

More than half of the estimated increase in global population between 2022 and 2050 will be in just eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania.

While India continues to enjoy its demographic dividend, it could have adverse effects if enough employment opportunities are not generated for people entering the workforce every year.

India’s labour force participation rate (an estimation of the active workforce and people looking for work,) stood at 46 per cent in 2021 which is among the lowest in Asia.

Female participation in the workforce was even lower at 19 per cent, down from 26 per cent in 2005. By comparison, the rates for China and the United States stood at 68 per cent and 61 per cent respectively in the same year.

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