Population Prospects In India: Demographic Restrictions Continue To Stifle Growth And Development

The UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 has increased attention in India’s demographic challenges. India will exceed China in population in 2023, with 1.428 billion people compared to China’s 1.425 billion. By 2022, the world’s population might reach 7.9 billion.

According to current patterns, population growth won’t decrease until the globe reaches 10.4 billion in 2086. Large-population countries’ demographic decline would start sooner. China (2024), Brazil (2047), Indonesia (2061), and India are sooner-than-expected prospects (2064). Pakistan and Nigeria’s populations will continue to expand beyond 2085, whereas the US’s will stabilise.

India’s population growth has increased density. Land, water, minerals, and energy are scarce per people, hindering growth. India has 477 people per square kilometre, approximately eight times the global average. China and Indonesia have one-third India’s population density. The US and Brazil have a far denser population. By the turn of the century, India’s population density will be six to twelve times that of China and the US, restricting its progress. Pakistan and Nigeria’s population densities will surpass India’s by then.

India’s young population would certainly decline in the next decades. India’s median age rose from 20 in 1950 to 21.6 in 2000 to 27.9 in 2022. By 2050, the average life expectancy will be 38.1, and by 2100, 47.5. A new research says Indians will be older than the globe by 2037. By the end of the century, India’s average age will practically match the US’s. India’s ageing population will reduce its competitive edge early in the century.

WPP 2022 includes substantial demographic changes that affect people, especially women. CDR, TFR, IMR, and average lifetime are presented. Since the 1950s, India’s TFR has surpassed the global average. India’s TFR dropped from 5.7 to 3.3 in the second half of the 20th century. US, Indonesia, and Brazil have lower TFRs than India, Pakistan, and Nigeria. India’s TFR will overtake China, the US, and Indonesia by 2050. The falling TFR in India may encourage women to work and help to economic growth.

In the 1960s and 1970s, India’s IMR was around half as high as the global average. Since then, India’s IMR has decreased drastically and is now below the world average. India’s IMR is four to five times higher than China and America’s, but lower than Pakistan and Nigeria’s (26.3). By 2025, India’s IMR will be lower than the U.S. and China’s. This would enhance women’s diet, health, and access to healthcare and childcare.

India’s death rate per 1,000 inhabitants has dropped by two-thirds since independence and was lower than the global average in 2003. COVID-19 lowers India’s CDR but raises China’s. By 2050, India’s CDR will be lower than most other big nations. The fall in the CDR has boosted India’s life expectancy by a tenth of the world average during the 1980s. Thanks to shrinking inequities, India’s life expectancy will reach the global average in 2043. It will remain lower than China, the US, and Brazil by the end of the century.

India will gain substantially from slower population growth over the next century. Dense population and ageing make advancement harder. The declining IMR and TFR may encourage more women to join the workforce, reduce disparities, and boost growth. India’s low life expectancy requires rapid social welfare measures.