China has been the world’s most populous country for decades, but soon will no longer be the case. The position of the most populous nation will belong to India by the end of this year, according to United Nations data. John Reed, Elanor Olcott, and Joe Leahy report in the Financial Times:
India is due to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by mid-year, the UN said, marking a historic shift for the two Asian rivals.
According to the UN Population Fund’s World Population Dashboard, released on Wednesday, India’s growing population is to surpass 1.428bn by mid 2023, just above the more than 1.425bn people in China, where fertility rates are falling.
Population growth is a politically sensitive topic in China and India and both governments were subdued in their responses to the demographic milestone.
“I want to tell you that population dividends don’t only depend on quantity but also on quality,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.
“Our population dividend has not disappeared, our dividend is forming, and the impetus for development is strong.”
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