India is on track to become the world’s most populous country, surpassing China with nearly three million more people by the middle of this year, data released by the United Nations shows.
Demographic data published on Wednesday by the estimates of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) the population of india at 1.4286 billion against 1.4257 billion for China.
The United States ranks a distant third, with an estimated population of 340 million, data from UNFPA’s State of the World Population Report 2023 showed.
The report says that eight countries will account for half of the projected growth in the world’s population by 2050: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
The data reflects information available as of February 2023, according to the report.
Population experts using previous UN data have projected that India go through china this month. But the latest report from the world body did not specify a date on which the change would take place.
UN population officials have said it was not possible to specify a date due to “uncertainty” over the data coming from India and China, especially as India’s last census was conducted in 2011 and the next is scheduled for 2021. has been delayed due to the pandemic.
Although India and China will account for more than a third of the world’s estimated population of 8.045 billion, population growth in both Asian giants has slowed, at a much faster rate in China than in India.
Last year, China’s population fell for the first time in six decades, a historic turnaround that is expected to usher in a long period of decline in the number of citizens with profound implications for its economy and the world.
India’s annual population growth has averaged 1.2 percent since 2011, compared with 1.7 percent in the previous 10 years, according to government data.
“The results of the Indian survey suggest that public anxiety has filtered down to a large part of the general public,” Andrea Wojnar, UNFPA India representative, said in a statement.
“However, the population figures should not cause anxiety or create alarm. Instead, they should be seen as a symbol of progress, development and aspirations if individual rights and choices are respected,” he said.
Focus on reproductive rights: UN
The UN said that instead of looking at the effect of the world’s growing population, the world should look at women’s reproductive rights to shore up “demographic resilience”.
UNFPA acknowledged that there was widespread anxiety about the world population sizewhich is expected to peak at around 10.4 billion during the 2080s.
But UNFPA said the focus should be on giving women more power to control when and how they have children.
“The question is: ‘Can everyone exercise their fundamental human right to choose the number and spacing of their children?’ Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no,” said UNFPA chief Natalia Kanem.
He said that “44 percent, almost half of the women, cannot exercise bodily autonomy. Unable to make decisions about contraception, medical care, and whether or with whom to have sex. And globally, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended.
Kanem said the countries with the highest fertility rates contribute the least to global warming and suffer the most from its effects.
In its report, UNFPA found that the most common view is that the world’s population is too large.
But he said that two-thirds of people lived in countries with low fertility and that spending the eight billion mark “It should be cause for celebration.”
“It is a milestone that represents historic advances for humanity in medicine, science, health, agriculture and education,” the report said.
“It is time to put fear aside, move away from population targets, and embrace demographic resilience – the ability to adapt to fluctuations in population growth and fertility rate.”
The countries with the highest fertility rates were all in Africa: Niger (6.7), Chad (6.1), DRC (6.1), Somalia (6.1), Mali (5.8) and Republic Central African (5.8).
The territories with the lowest birth rates were Hong Kong (0.8), South Korea (0.9), Singapore (1.0), Macao and San Marino (1.1), and Aruba and China (1. 2).
UNFPA chief Kanem told a news conference: “The world’s population is rapidly reordering.”
While the population is now the largest ever, “the global average fertility rate is the lowest in living memory,” he said.
“This is the first time in human history that not all countries are getting bigger.”