India is set to be a country for old people. If not now, that could be the case in the next few decades, according to the projections by US non-profit Population Reference Bureau’s data. According to their latest analysis, between today and 2050, India’s population aged 65 and older will grow by 14.4 crore.
The world has no dearth of Indians, especially after India overtook China to become the most populous country in the world. Going by projections, India’s population is currently 142 crore, or four times the population of the USA.
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India currently has an advantage, because right now, people under the age of 25 account for more than 40 per cent of India’s population according to a report by Pew Research Centre. PRB also validates this. It notes that India’s population is relatively young, with 25 per cent of people under age 15 and the working-age population, defined as those between ages 15 and 64, above 100 crore. However, the same report observes, “By mid-century—in less than 30 years—India’s contribution (to the growth in the global working-age population) will have decreased to just 2 per cent.”
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It also notes that by 2050, 14 per cent of India’s population will be aged 65 and older, the United Nations’ definition of an aged society. “The United States crossed this threshold in 2014, and China crossed it this year,” notes the report, adding that, “By the mid-2050s, India will have more people aged 65 and older than under age 15.” This is because of the country’s falling fertility rate, which according to NFHS 5, is 2 (children per woman).
At the same time, projections from the World Population Review also suggest that India’s population will peak by 2065 and start coming down from then. It also notes that the growth rate of the Indian population is on a declining trend.