India to pass China this week as world’s most populous Nation: UN

India will be the world’s most populous country by the end of this month, hitting almost 1.43 billion people and eclipsing an ageing China, says the United Nations.

“By the end of this month, India’s population is expected to reach 1,425,775,850 people, matching and then surpassing the population of mainland China,” the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

Last week, the UN’s annual State of World Population report said the milestone would come by midyear 2,023 when it will have 2.9 million people more than China.

The Indian government, which has not done a census since 2011 and delayed the 2021 one due to the pandemic, has not officially commented on the UN estimates.

The timing of when India surpasses China in population will likely be revised once India conducts its next census, John Wilmoth, director of the UN population division, said at a news conference at UN headquarters in New York City.

“The precise timing of this crossover isn’t known, and it will never be known,” Wilmoth said. “There is uncertainty in the data.”

he Asian nations have accounted for more than a third of the global population for over 70 years.

“China will soon cede its long-held status as the world’s most populous country,” the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said in a statement. 

It added that “due to the uncertainty associated with estimating and projecting populations, the specific date on which India is expected to surpass China in population size is approximate and subject to revision”. 

The UN Population Fund said last week India would have 2.9 million more people than China by the middle of 2023.

China’s birth rate has plunged recently, with its population shrinking last year for the first time since 1961.

China’s population could drop below 1 billion before the end of the century, DESA said.

“By contrast, India’s population is expected to continue growing for several decades,” it added.

However, fertility rates are dropping in India, too – from 5.7 births per woman in 1950 to 2.2 births per woman today.

In November, the global population crossed 8 billion. But experts the growth is not as rapid as it was – and is now at its slowest rate since 1950.

Source – BBC