India dethrones China as world’s most populated nation

A crowded scene in India from October 2022. AFP/File

According to the latest statistics of the United Nations Population Division, India has overtaken China to become the most populous country in the world.

With an estimated population of over 1.425 billion people, India now officially holds the record for the largest population. Surprisingly, India achieved this feat despite being almost three times smaller than China in terms of land area. China, which had held the population record since the 1950s, reached a peak of 1.426 billion inhabitants in 2022 before experiencing a decline.

India’s population growth rate has slowed, but it is still higher than China’s, according to UN data. However, both countries have seen their fertility rates decline. In 2023, India’s population growth rate is 0.61 percent, the lowest since 1960. This is significantly lower than the population growth rate of other countries such as Bangladesh, Morocco and Colombia.

Despite the slowdown, India is seeing a significant number of women entering their reproductive years, adding to its population growth. In fact, India is the largest contributor to the increase in the global working-age population, increasing by 23 percent between 2020 and 2025.

Demographically, India has a significant percentage of its population in different age groups. According to a report by the United Nations Population Fund, 25 percent of India’s population consists of children aged 0-14, while 68 percent falls in the age category of 15-64. In contrast, China has a lower percentage of its population in younger age groups.

The impact of India’s population growth goes beyond population. The country attracts a significant number of tourists, with millions from around the world visiting famous attractions such as the Taj Mahal and the Amber Palace. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on tourism numbers, resulting in a decline compared to previous years.

India’s new status as the world’s most populous country highlights the complex challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The government will need to address issues such as health care, infrastructure and resource management to ensure sustainable development and a high standard of living for its growing population.

In summary, India’s population has overtaken China to become the most populous country in the world. Despite its smaller land area, India’s population growth rate, although slower, is higher than that of China. This change in population dynamics brings both opportunities and challenges for India as it moves towards sustainable development.

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