Indians seem to be in every corner of the world, and its no surprise why! According to a UN report, India will overtake China to become the world’s most populous country in 2027. By Bayar Jain

If you ever thought 1.37 billion Indians is a big number, then you’re in for a surprise. According to the United Nations World Population Prospects 2019, India is set to become the world’s most populous country in just eight years. It further predicts that the country will add 273 million people, out of the total 2 billion rise, over the next three decades. By 2050, 9.7 billion people are predicted to plague the planet.

China’s population – currently the highest in the world with 1.43 billion people – is set to decrease. This is because the Total Fertility Rate or TFR (defined as the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime) will dip for China. A major reason for this is the fact that country has been preemptively trying to tackle overpopulation over years. Moreover, the population there is ageing, and birth rates are declining.

In India, however, the TFR is 2.1. Although the government of India projected a dip in population growth rate over the next two decades, it remains the fastest growing nation only because other top countries will see even greater dips. The only other nation with a TFR higher than India’s is Nigeria at 5.4. Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and USA are the other fastest growing nations.

This is a cause of worry for all of humanity as it took us only 14 years to add a billion people to the world, as compared to the 33 years it took for the former billion milestone. At this pace, it would take us only eight years to reach the next big billion! The world is ageing, which means that the number of people in the 65+ category is increasing. This equates to a dip in the number of working-age people leading to strains in social support systems. Large scale migration could be another impact, which could in turn impact individual countries as well.

Having said that, all is not in vain. Luckily, much of the growth is coming through poorer countries. This population boom could translate into better economic growths, if appropriate policies are devised. In the end, it all boils down to how we – as a whole – wish to tackle this situation.

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