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India overtakes China to become most populous country

India China

New Delhi, April 19: India has now surpassed China to become the most populous country in the world, says United Nations (UN) data.
As per UN world population dashboard, India now has a population of 1,428.6 million (1.428 billion) while China’s population stands at 1,425.7 million (1.425 billion) – a difference of 2.9 million.
The UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 had also projected India to surpass China as the world’s most populous country during 2023.
A newly-released United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report on Wednesday said in India 25% of the population constitutes children aged 0-14, 18% are those aged 10-19 years, 26% belong to the 10-24 age group. About 68% are in the 15-64 age category, while those above 65 are just 7%.
On the other hand, China has about 17% of the population under 14 years of age, 12% in the 10-19 age group, 18% in the 10-24 age group.
While 69% are in the 15-64 age category, about 14% or nearly 200 million people are above the age of 65.
However, China is doing better than India in the context of life expectancy, which in the case of women is 82 and 76 that of men. The figures for India are 74 and 71, according to the report.
This is for the first time that India has topped the United Nations’ list of most populated countries, ever since the UN began collecting population data in 1950.
The year before, China’s population shrank for the first time since 1960. In 2016, Beijing ended its strict “one-child policy,” imposed in the 1980s amid overpopulation fears, and began letting couples have three children in 2021. China faces an impending demographic decline, as its workforce ages and fertility rates decrease.
Meanwhile, the United States is in the third position with an estimated population of 340 million.
India has not conducted census since 2011, hence there are no fresh official statistics available on its population size. The once-in-a-decade census in India was scheduled to take place in 2021 but was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The global population is expected to hit 8.045 billion by mid-2023, according to the UN data. “The Indian survey findings suggest that population anxieties have seeped into large portions of the general public,” Andrea Wojnar, Representative for UNFPA India, said in a statement.
“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,” she said. (Agencies)