In the recent report of the United Nation on World population prospects 2022, it is estimated that India is set to surpass China as the World’s most populous country in 2023. Four years ahead of an earlier estimate by the United Nations. More than 1.4 billion residents were counted this year. The United Nations report said on Monday, “warning that high fertility would challenge economic growth.” According to a report titled World Population Prospects 2022, The UN expects the global population to hit 8 billion on November 15, 2022, more than three times the population of 2.5 billion in 1950. The world’s population is estimated to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, and 10.4 billion in 2100. 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.
- India is set to surpass China as the World’s most populous country in 2023.
- The world’s population is estimated to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, and 10.4 billion in 2100.
- The world’s two most populous regions in 2022 were eastern and south-eastern Asia.
- Global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.1 births per woman by 2050.
UN World Population Prospects Report 2022
UN reported that more than half of the estimated increase in the global population increase up to 2050 will be mainly in 8 countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania. Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050. The UN projections say that by 2050, India’s population will reach 1,668 million, far exceeding China’s declining population at 1,317 million. The global population by 2050 would have touched 9.7 billion, according to the report. The world’s two most populous regions in 2022 were eastern and south-eastern Asia, with 2.3 billion people, representing 29% of the global population, and central and Southern Asia with 2.1 billion (26%). India and China accounted for the largest populations in these regions, with more than 1.4 billion each in 2022, said the report.
In India, where National Family Health Survey released last year found that India attainted a Total fertility Rater (FTR) of 2.0 for the first time, less than the replacement level of 2.1. Increased use of contraceptive methods, spacing of pregnancies, access to health care, and an impetus provided to family planning contributed to the decrease, including increasing wealth and education. In 2021, the average fertility of the world’s population stood at 2.3 births per woman, having fallen from about 5 births per woman in 1950. In 2021, the average fertility of the world’s population stood at 2.3 births per woman over a lifetime. Global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.1 births per woman by 2050.
Whilst the fertility rates decreases, so have the mortality rates with increased access to healthcare and advances in medicine. Globally, persons aged 65 years or over, outnumbered children under 5 years for the first time in 2018. UN report said, “This reduction of premature mortality for successive generations, reflected in increased levels of life expectancy at birth, has been a driver of population growth, the UN has said.” By 2050, the number of persons 65 years and above are expected to be more than double that of 5-year-olds and the same as 12-year-olds.
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The report further said, “Following a drop in mortality, population growth continues so long as fertility remains at high levels. When fertility begins to fall, the annual rate of growth starts to drop.”
Poonam Muttreja who is the Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India had said,
“These numbers are not drastically different from the UN’s earlier projections. The 2019 World Population Prospects report said that India would overtake China by 2027. So, we knew that India was going to overtake China in a matter of a few years. If we look at it over the last 50 years, India’s growth rate stood at 2.3 percent in 1972, which has dropped down to less than 1 percent now. In this period, the number of children each Indian woman has during her lifetime has come down from about 5.4 to less than 2.1 now. This means that we have attained the Replacement Fertility Rate, at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next. Usage of modern contraceptives is rising across the country and the desired fertility rate for all communities in India is less than 2, according to the latest National Family Health Survey data.” She further added “About 9.4 percent of Indian women have an unmet need for contraception, which means that approximately 22 million women want to stop or delay childbearing but do not have access to a method of contraception. Our focus should be on providing women of all communities access to family planning services. We should also capitalize on our large young population — about 30 percent is aged between 10 and 24. The government needs to play a pivotal role and invest in education, health, and creating economic opportunities for young people, which would help us harness what economists call demographic dividend”
The population growth in South Asia will begin to decline before 2100.