India has become the world’s most populous country with a population of 1.428 billion according to a UN report. This is almost three million more people than China, which has a population of 1.425 billion. India’s fertility rate stands at 2.0, while China’s is 1.2. India’s population first overtook China’s in 1950 when the UN began collecting population data. Experts say that India’s population is expected to keep rising for nearly three decades before it peaks at 165 crore and then start declining.
China’s population shrank for the first time since 1960 in 2021, according to AFP. The slowdown has been blamed on the soaring cost of living and the growing number of women entering the workforce and seeking higher education. Beijing ended its strict “one-child policy” in 2016 and started letting couples have three children in 2021, but official efforts have so far failed to reverse the decline.
The global population is estimated to have reached 8.045 billion by mid-2023, according to the UN report. Other countries can expect a demographic slump over the coming decades, particularly in Europe and Asia.