India’s Rising Population Is Its Advantage
The United Nations (UN) World Population Day Brings Attention To The Increasing Global Population And The Associated Factors. The Date Was Chosen To Commemorate 11 July 1987, The Day When The Global Population Hit The 5 Billion Mark.
India with its population of 139 crore, is expected to overtake China’s 144 crore population by the year 2027. According to the national census of 2011, Uttar Pradesh was the most populous state with a population of 199,812,341 people. Maharashtra came second with 112,374,333 people followed by Bihar (104,099,452), West Bengal (91,276,115) and Andhra Pradesh (84,580,777). When we compare these massive numbers with the geographical area under Indian borders, the figure becomes even more worrying.
India has just 2 percent of the world’s land mass but is home to 16 percent of the global population, which means our natural and mineral resources are under acute stress as we struggle to meet the needs of our growing population. The increasing population, in theory causes stress on socioeconomic development but, evidence suggests a mixed outcome, especially when the rate at which the population is growing has decreased substantially.
In the 21st century, population growth in India is not an economic or social development concern considering the speed with which India achieved its fertility transition and improved its ageing rate relative to many other countries, including developed ones.
India enjoys one of the youngest global population with average national age at around 29 years, while 41 percent of our population is under 18 years of age, according to the last census. This means that most Indians have a majority of their working years ahead of them. This population can contribute to nation-building and economy, if equipped with the right skills, training and jobs.
If the fertility rate of a nation drops below the replacement rate, it means its population is ageing faster than the young ones reaching the age where they can join the active workforce. Once fertility decline is underway, it’s hard to flip it back. Europe’s population is greying continuously, and their pro-population-growth measures – such as incentives to have children – are not working.
The young population also came to the country’s aid when it is battling a global catastrophe like the coronavirus pandemic. It has been India’s biggest shield in keeping the mortality rate well below 3 percent.