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India Set to Pass China as Most Populous Country in 2023

According to a United Nations report released in early July, India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. Each country will have more than 1.4 billion residents this year. The report also stated that high fertility would challenge economic growth.

The world’s population, estimated to reach 8 billion before the end of this year, could grow to 8.5 billion in 2030, and 10.4 billion in 2100, as the pace of mortality slows, said the report released on World Population Day.

India’s population was 1.21 billion in 2011, according to the domestic census, which is conducted once a decade. The government had deferred the 2021 census due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s population was growing at its slowest pace since 1950, having fallen below 1% in 2020, UN estimates showed.

According to reports and estimates, in 2021, the average fertility of the world’s population was 2.3 births per woman over her lifetime, this had fallen from around 5 births in 1950. Global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.1 births per woman by 2050.

“This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement.

The UN report also stated that global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021 from 72.8 years in 2019, mostly due to the pandemic.

The report also indicated that the more than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries – Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The population of around 61 countries is projected to decrease by 1% or more between 2022 and 2050, which is largely driven by decreases in fertility.