India set to beat China in population

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India set to beat China in population

  • UN Population Report: India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023
    • High fertility would challenge economic growth.

World Population Prospects(WPP)

  • Published in biennial cycles since 1951.
  • Each revision provides a historical time series of population indicators starting in 1950.
  • It takes into account newly released national data to revise estimates of past trends in fertility, mortality or international migration.

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Key Highlights

  • World’s population could grow to 8.5 billion in 2030, and 10.4 billion in 2100, as the pace of mortality slows.
  • 2022: China remained most populous country with 1,426 million.
  • Two most populous regions: Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.
  • 46 least developed countries (LDCs) are among world’s fastest-growing.
  • Elderly Population: Increasing both in numbers and as a share of the total.
  • 2021: Average fertility of world’s population stood at 2.3 having fallen from about 5 births in 1950.
  • More than half of the projected increase in global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries — Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • South Asia : Population growth will begin to decline before 2100.


  • Increase in migration contributes to changing population patterns across countries.
  • South Asia saw the highest emigration trends.
  • Pakistan has the highest net flow of migrants of 16.5 million.


  • The 65+ category is going to grow quite fast and it faces several challenges.
  • Provisioning of social security will be challenging.
  • This will stretch the resources of the future governments.
  • If we go back to our roots and stick around as families, as against the western tendency to go for individualism, then the challenges would be less.