India overtakes China as world’s most populous nation, UN

India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country in the coming week, hitting almost 1.43 billion people. the United Nations said Monday.

“By the end of this month, India’s population is expected to reach 1,425,775,850 people, matching and then surpassing the population of mainland China,” the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said.

Last week the UN’s annual State of World Population report said the milestone would come by midyear 2023.

India is topping China due to both rapid growth in its own population and a decline in China’s after hitting 1.426 billion last year.

Regarded as the world’s most heavily populated country since the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century CE, China is expected to decline steadily to around one billion people by the end of this century, according to UN projections.

China’s fall is heavily tied to decades of maintaining a strict one-child policy for married couples, which ended in 2016.

In addition, its falling birth rates are also attributed to the rising cost of living and the growing number of Chinese women going into the workforce and seeking higher education.

Meanwhile, India’s population “is virtually certain” to continue to grow in the coming decades, according to the United Nations.

Last year, China’s fertility rate fell to one of the lower levels in the world at 1.2 births per woman.

For India, which has taken much longer than China to get population growth under control, the fertility rate was 2.0 births per woman, just below the 2.1 replacement level.


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