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The world will have more Indians than Chinese by 2028

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The report ‘World Population Prospects’ says the world’s population will hit 7.2 billion next month and is projected to reach 10.9 billion by 2100.

India, which is currently the second-most populous nation in the world, is likely to become the largest in the world, in terms of population, by 2028, earlier than expected.

UN report

It is expected that by that time both India and China will have about 1.45 billion people, thereafter India will continue to grow, while China’s growth starts winding down, says a report by United Nations, ‘World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision’.

The report estimates that even as China’s population growth starts slowing down after 2030 to reach 1.1 billion in 2100, India’s population will keep growing for decades to touch 1.6 billion, and then decline slowly to 1.5 billion by 2100.

While India’s population growth, resulting in a younger population, is largely seen as an economically positive, the growth also means larger demands on limited resources.

Resource pressure

India is already struggling with a huge population of more than 1.2 billion people (last count at census 2011), with the population density at 382 per square kilometre. Compare this with China, currently the most populous nation with an estimated 1.36 billion (in 2012), where the density is at 143.3 per kilometre.

The report further predicts that almost 1 billion more people will be added to the world population by 2025, putting the global population at 8.1 billion, up from about 7.2 billion right now. This would further rise to 9.6 billion by 2050.

“Most of the population growth will occur in developing regions, which are projected to increase from 5.9 billion in 2013 to 8.2 billion in 2050. During the same period, the population of developed regions will remain largely unchanged at around 1.3 billion people,” the report says.

It further projects that the 49 least developed countries will witness the most rapid growth and will double in size from around 900 million inhabitants in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050.

Rising fertility

A combination of rising rates of fertility, coupled with higher life-expectancy, are seen as the reason for this burgeoning population growth across the globe.

Life expectance up

The report notes that life expectancy is likely to increase in both developed and developing countries in the coming years.

“The 20th century witnessed the most rapid decline of mortality in human history,” it says.

Life expectancy has risen from 47 years in 1950-1955 to 69 years in 2005-2010.

aesha.datta@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 14, 2013

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