For the first time in over 6 decades, China reported a population decline. The news has raised the possibility that India, which was expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country later this year, has already done so.
According to projections from the World Population Review (WPR), India’s population was 141.7 crore as of the end of 2022. That’s a little more than 50 lakh more than the 141.2 crore declared by China on January 17, when there was the first fall since the 1960s, according to official announcements.
On the other hand, China’s population shrank by 850,000 in 2022 compared to a year ago, according to data released by the National Statistics Bureau. In its estimate, the United Nations said that more than half of the estimated increase in global population between 2022 and 2050 will be in just eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
Although India’s population growth has slowed, WPR expects the number to continue to rise until at least 2050.
India, where half the population is under the age of 30, is set to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the coming years.
Despite India’s rapid economic growth pre-Covid and its relatively strong recovery from the pandemic, about 800 million people still rely on free food rations from the government, the largest program of its kind in the world.
For now, Asia’s third-largest economy is self-sufficient in food production. It is the second-largest producer of rice, wheat and sugar. It is also the biggest consumer of sugar, while being the top importer of edible oils.
As a market, India is the second-largest consumer of gold and steel and the third-biggest buyer of crude oil. It is also home to the world’s third-largest domestic aviation market.