Population Of India Overtakes China
According to United Nations reports, India has now overtaken China as the world’s most populous country.
The UN’s latest figures show that, at the end of April 2023, India’s population surpassed an estimated 1,425,775,850 people*, overtaking that of China.
While China’s human population reached 1.426 billion in 2022, it subsequently began to fall and, assuming current trends continue, is predicted to drop below 1 billion before the end of this century. In comparison, India’s population is expected to continue expanding for many more decades.
The UN reports that some estimating was necessary when calculating India’s current population, largely due to the delay in the country’s planned 2021 census as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (this census is now planned for 2024). In the absence of census results, population figures were based on multiple sources of information including trends in fertility, mortality and migration. Housing records, surveys and other administrative data were also used, and the total figure is thought to be reasonably accurate.
The ‘population billionaires’
Each with over 1.4 billion people, India and China combined account for more than one third of the planet’s entire human population, and have done for over half a century.
Since 1950, China has been recognised as the world’s most populated country and, in 1982, was the first to surpass one billion people. But the combined effect of China’s one-child policy (introduced in 1979) and India’s higher fertility rate, have resulted in India’s population dramatically overtaking that of China.
Fertility rates are a key driver for these latest population figures. In 2022, China had one of the world’s lowest fertility rates (an average of 1.2 births per female), whereas India’s current fertility rate is an average of 2 births per female. The ageing population of both countries is also increasing. Between 2023 and 2050, the number of people aged 65 or over in China is expected to almost double, and to more than double in India.
On a global level, India is one of a number of countries in Asia and Africa in which population growth is forecast to be the highest over the next 30 years. Overall, world population is predicted to grow from its current 8 billion, to a peak of around 10.4 billion in the second half of this century.
But whether the planet’s human population peaks at 10.4 billion or not, seems to be a moot point. With the escalation of extreme weather events, global temperature rises and the continued depletion of natural resources, it is clear that the earth is barely able to support 8 billion.
Which begs the question that most still choose to ignore… what will the future look like with 25% more people spread across the planet?
“Two hundred years ago there were just one billion of us. Fifty years ago, it was three billion. Now its seven billion. How many more of us do we think the planet can support?” Yan Vana
The population ‘top 5’
At the time of writing, the 5 most populated countries in the world are:
India – 1.427 billion
China – 1.425 billion
United States – 333 million
Indonesia – 277 million
Pakistan – 240 million
* Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Submitted by Friends of Retha