India to surpass China as world's most populous country in 2023: United Nations

The world's population is projected to reach 8 billion on November 15, 2022.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Monday, July 11, 2022, 11:05 PM IST
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Mumbai: A crowded platform at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station | (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country next year, according to a report released by the United Nations on Monday, to mark World Population Day. As per the report, the world population would reach eight billion by mid-November this year.

Titled ‘The World Population Prospects 2022’, the report released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, states that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under one per cent in 2020.

As per the report, “Disparate population growth rates among the world’s largest countries will change their ranking by size: for example, India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.”

India’s population stands at 1.412 billion in 2022, compared to China’s 1.426 billion. India is projected to have a population of 1.668 billion in 2050, way ahead of China’s 1.317 billion people by the middle of the century.

Meanwhile, the world’s two most populous regions in 2022 were Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, with 2.3 billion people, representing 29 per cent of the global population, and Central and Southern Asia, with 2.1 billion, representing 26 per cent of the total world population. China and India accounted for the largest populations in these regions, with more than 1.4 billion each in 2022.

More than half of the projected increase in global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.

The report added that it is estimated that ten countries experienced a net outflow of more than 1 million migrants between 2010 and 2021.

In many of these countries, these outflows were due to temporary labour movements, such as for Pakistan (net outflow of 16.5 million during 2010-2021), India (3.5 million), Bangladesh (2.9 million), Nepal (1.6 million) and Sri Lanka (1 million). In other countries, insecurity and conflicts have driven the net outflow of migrants over the decade.

Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost nine years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are projected to result in an average global longevity of around 77.2 years in 2050.

Yet in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged seven years behind the global average.

Alternative long-term population projections have also been undertaken by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

In its recent projections, IHME projected that the global population will reach 8.8 billion in 2100 with a range of 6.8 billion to 11.8 billion. The main difference between the projections released by IHME and the United Nations lies in the assumptions on the future level of fertility.

In India, IHME projects a total fertility rate of 1.29 births per woman in 2100 instead of 1.69 in the United Nations medium scenario, resulting in a population that is 433 million smaller than according to the United Nations projections at the end of the century.

The share of the global population at ages 65 and above is projected to rise from 10 per cent in 2022 to 16 per cent in 2050.

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