India has overtaken China as the world’s most populous nation, according to UN data released on Wednesday.
India's population surpassed 1.428 billion, slightly higher than China’s 1.425 billion people, according to the UN’s World Population dashboard.
The report stated that 25% of the people in India are in the 0-14 age category, 18% were in the 10-19 age category, 26% in the 10-24 age category, 68% in the 15-64 age category and 7% are aged 65 years or older.
The corresponding figures for China are 17%, 12%, 18%, 69% and 14%, which means the country has nearly 200 million above 65 years of age.
India has no recent official data on how many people it has because it has not conducted a census since 2011. India’s census, scheduled for 2021, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While India and China are the first two spots, the United States is at a distant third, with an estimated population of 340 million, the report said.
Estimates by different agencies have suggested that India’s population is expected to keep rising for nearly three decades before it peaks at 165 crore and then start declining. Kerala and Punjab have an ageing population while Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have a young population, experts have said.
The burgeoning population will add urgency for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to create employment for the millions of people entering the workforce as the nation moves away from farm jobs. India, where half the population is under the age of 30, is set to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the coming years.
Asia's third-largest economy is now home to nearly a fifth of humanity — greater than the entire population of Europe or Africa or the Americas. While this is also true for China for now, that’s expected to change as
India’s population is forecast to keep ticking up and touch 1.668 billion by 2050 when China’s population contracts to about 1.317 billion.