India is on track to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by mid-2023, data released by the United Nations showed.
In its latest "State of World Population Report," the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said India will have around 2.9 million people more than China sometime in the middle of this year. India will have an estimated 1.429 billion people versus mainland China's 1.426 billion at that time. The same report also showed that India has the world's largest number of people between the ages of 15 and 24, at 254 million.
This projection by the U.N. has sparked expectations for India to become an even bigger economic and global heavyweight, with the country’s young citizenry set to drive the country’s economic growth for years to come.
Andrea Wojnar, the UNFPA representative in India, said the latest report should symbolize progress and development if individual rights and choices are being upheld. She added that India’s rising number of working-age people is expected to give the country more opportunities for economic growth and help cement its place as a global power.
“It is a milestone representing historic advances for humanity in medicine, science, health, agriculture, and education,” said Wojnar.
Compared to other global powers like the U.S. or China, India has a much younger population, a higher fertility rate, and has seen a decrease in infant mortality over the last three decades, according to 2021 World Bank data.
Since gaining its independence in 1974, India has seen its population grow by more than 400% and has emerged as a global economic titan with a $3 trillion economy — the third largest in Asia. The country is also a major exporter of software, vaccines, and jewelry, among other products and services that other nations have come to rely on as the global standard of excellence.
Download the full State of World Population report 2023 at www.unfpa.org/.