Business Standard

Volume IconHow has India's share in the world population changed since 1950?

India is set to take over China as the world's most populous country in a few months from now. Let us find out how India's share in the world population has changed since 1950

ImageRaghav Aggarwal New Delhi
population

The world population crossed 8 billion on November 15. It took 12 years for the world to add 1 billion new human beings. India continued to be the second most populous country in the world, with 1.41 billion people. China continued to be the most populous country, with 1.45 billion people.

An analysis of UN data by Business Standard revealed that in the global population, Indians currently make up 17.76 per cent of the world's population. China accounts for 17.9 per cent of people. Combined, one in every three people in the world belongs to either India or China.

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China's share is greater than India's in the global population, but this will change soon. Indians will be the largest group of people in the world for at least the next 4-5 decades.
An interesting fact is that this will be the highest share that India and China will ever have in the world's total population. The pace of population growth has now slowed down considerably. This can be seen in the decline in TFR or Total Fertility Rate in both countries.
 
The Total Fertility Rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime. A TFR of over 2.1 leads to an expanding population, while a lower one means a declining population.
According to the World Bank's latest estimates, India's current TFR is 2.18, while China's TFR is 1.7. This means that India's population will reach its peak soon while China's peak has already passed.

What do the numbers say about India?
India's share in the total population has continued to rise since 1950. From 14.7 per cent in 1960, when the world hit one billion, the percentage of Indians in the world is currently at 17.76 per cent. In 2010, when the total population of the world crossed seven billion, the percentage was 17.75 per cent. But this seems to be the peak.

In 2037, when the world population is projected to hit 9 billion, India's share would fall marginally to 17.61 per cent. And in 2058, its share would be 16.9 per cent.  

What about China?
The data reveals that ever since the world population hit 4 billion in 1974, China's share in the total population has been falling. From 22.5 per cent then, it has fallen to 17.9 per cent in 2022.
 When the world population hits 9 and 10 billion in 2037 and 2058, respectively, China's share will fall to 15.4 and 12.2 per cent.

The fall in China's share will be steeper than India's share, mainly because of a larger old population in the country.

Where will the next billion come from?
The population growth is now expected to shift majorly to African countries. According to a report by the UN, the next billion will come from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Philippines, and Tanzania. 


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First Published: Nov 23 2022 | 11:31 AM IST

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