Business Standard

With Census still pending, UN says India is now the most populous country

As India awaits Census, International organisations say that India has already crossed China in population

most-populous nation, India population

Photo: Bloomberg

BS Web Team New Delhi
India has become the world's most populous country, overtaking China, data released by the United Nations today showed. According to UN estimates, India's population is at 1.42 billion or 1,428,600,000 against China's 1,425,700,000. India now has 2,900,000 more people than China.

India has, for the first time, topped the list since 1950. China had remained at the top since 1950 when the UN started presenting the data.

According to the National Statistics Bureau, China's population declined by 850,000 in 2022. This was the first time it declined since 1960.

With an ageing workforce and a plunge in birth rate, China is staring at a looming demographic decline. In a policy reversal, the Chinese government is announcing plans to increase birth rates.

India, on the other hand, conducted its last Census in 2011 and thus has no recent official data on its demographic composition and population. The Census was due in 2021 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In terms of demographics, 25 per cent of India's population is in the age group of 0-14 years, 18 per cent in the 10 to 19 age group, 26 per cent in the age bracket of 10 to 24 years, 68 per cent in 15 to 64 years age group, and 7 per cent above 65 years, according to UNFPA data.

Earlier, the World Population Review (WPR) had projected India's population to be at 1,417,000,000 in 2022.

In January, the WPR projected India's population to have increased by 1,423,000,000.

The WPR had predicted that even as India's population growth has slowed, it will continue to climb until at least 2050.

Various estimates have suggested that India's population is expected to keep increasing for at least three decades before it peaks at 1.65 billion and then starts to fall.

India is yet to declare the impending Census. Recently, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to PM Narendra Modi and demanded that the Census be conducted immediately. He further demanded a Caste Census that is "up-to-date", saying that the Caste census should be made an integral part of the yet-to-be-published 2021 Census.

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 4:24 PM IST

Explore News