India is set to overtake China as the most populated country in the world within the next decade, a report by the United Nations has revealed.
China currently has the most people of any country at 1.43 billion, with India just behind on 1.37 billion.
China currently has the most people, but is facing population decline[/caption]
But between 2019 and 2050, China’s population is expected to decline by 31 million, while India’s is projected to grow by 273 million, surpassing China around 2027.
The two countries currently account for 37 per cent of the world’s population.
The figures come from the UN’s annual World Population Prospects report, the 2019 edition of which was released on Monday.
They also project that more than half the global population increase over the next three decades will come from India and eight other countries: the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and the United States.
The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, almost four times what it was in 1950.
After that, the ranking of the five largest countries is expected to be preserved until the end of the century, when India will have 1.5 billion inhabitants, followed by China with 1.1 billion, Nigeria with 733 million, the United States with 434 million, and Pakistan with 403 million.
Though its population continues to grow, India has in recent years succeeded in reducing its fertility rate, which a 2018 UN report found had halved since 1980.
The report said the decline was due to investment in development projects, greater support for reproductive rights, and increasing awareness about the importance of contraception.
It added the decline will bolster India’s economic growth and improve access to healthcare, education, and jobs.
China is currently trying to stop the projected decline in its population.
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It previously regulated its population growth with a policy allowing each family to have only one child, and now faces a situation in which fewer and fewer workers are struggling to support an ageing society.
The long-term trend for the planet is currently towards decreasing populations, a growing proportion of older people, and a narrowing gap between rich and poor countries.
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