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India Population to Surpass China By Mid-2023

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The UN’s latest report on World population says that India’s population may surpass China by mid 2023. Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Michael T Balonek

The new data released by the United Nations says that India is expected to have the largest population in the world by the middle of this year, surpassing China.

India’s population is predicted to reach 1.4286 billion, which is 2.9 million more than China’s population of 1.4257 billion.

For over 70 years, Asian countries have accounted for more than one-third of the world’s population.

China’s population growth has slowed down in recent years, and its population actually shrank last year for the first time since 1961.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has estimated India’s population forecast in its State of World Population report, as the country has not conducted a census since 2011.

India has conducted a census every 10 years for the past 140 years, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 census was canceled and postponed to 2022. It has now been postponed again to 2024, as reported by the BBC.

Experts not sure of India’s real population size

The UN’s top expert on population, Patrick Gerland, recently spoke with the BBC and explained that any guesses about the real size of India’s population are “naïve assumptions based on fragmental information.”

“We don’t have real official data coming out from India,” said Gerland.

Additionally, the UN’s estimate of the world’s population does not take into account the people living in China’s two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, which have more than 8 million residents combined.

In November 2022, the world population surpassed 8 billion, but experts claim that growth is not as quick as it used to be and is currently at its slowest rate since 1950.

Both India and China have seen decreases in their fertility rates despite China’s decision to abandon its one-child policy in 2016 and encourage couples to have two or more children.

Demographers see India’s increasing population as not a concern

A recent survey conducted by the UNFPA revealed that most people in India feel that their population is too large and the fertility rates are higher than desired.

Economic concerns were identified as the topmost issues when thinking about population growth by almost two-thirds of the respondents.

Despite this, demographers believe that India’s population overtaking China’s should not be a cause for concern. They warn against giving in to fears about the increasing numbers.

“Yet, population numbers should not trigger anxiety or create alarm. Instead, they should be seen as a symbol of progress, development, and aspirations if individual rights and choices are being upheld,” Andrea Wojnar, representative for UNFPA India, said in a statement.

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