China is the most populous country by far. Now, India has moved to the top spot. According to the calculation of ‘World Population Review’ (World Population Review), India’s population is currently 142.78 crore. The population of China is also 142.56 crores.
Earlier, population growth was seen as a factor affecting the development of the country. It was an extension of this view that family planning was intensified in India in the 1970s. At that time India was economically backward. Currently, the global view on population growth is changing. As economic opportunities have increased globally, population growth is seen as a factor contributing to the development of a country. It is in this context that India has overtaken China in terms of population, attracting international attention.
Population can create a huge market opportunity. As population increases, consumption increases accordingly. It is necessary to increase production to meet consumption. More business opportunities will arise. Investments by domestic and foreign companies will increase to tap this market opportunity. In the case of India, per capita income is projected to increase by 700 percent to $16,000 by 2050. Thus, the consumption capacity of the people is expected to increase by 4 times from what it is at present.
India’s population growth is important for another reason, beyond just market opportunity. China’s population has not only fallen behind India’s, it has started to decline. It is estimated that by 2050 India’s population will increase to 160 crores and China’s population will decrease to 130 crores. It is predicted that by 2050, the average age of Indians will be 38 and that of China will be 50. This means that the number of elderly people in China is increasing.
The growth of a country is closely related to the number of younger generations in its population. 15 to 64 years is defined as working age. People of this age group play an important role in the employment structure of a country.
Currently, the average age of Indians is 29. According to current projections, it will rise to a maximum of 38 in the next 30 years. Thus, in the Indian population, the number of people participating in the employment structure will be higher. It is seen as a great opportunity for India in industrial development
Currently, India has overtaken Britain to the 5th place economically. By 2030, India is projected to occupy the 3rd position. India’s growth is driven by its digital infrastructure and proliferation of start-ups. The recently introduced 5G technology is expected to revolutionize all sectors of India and create lakhs of new jobs. Currently, two-thirds of India’s population was born after the introduction of liberalization – ie, 1990. Their ability to learn modern technologies has contributed to India’s growth. As such, the contribution of the younger generation will be crucial in India’s next 30 years of technological development.
At the same time, India has many challenges due to population growth. Currently, economic inequality is very serious in India. India lags behind in education and health infrastructure. India is in dire straits in terms of employment. The role of women in the employment structure is very low. Only by addressing these issues can India harness its growing population as an opportunity for growth. If not, it will become an additional burden, experts warn.