India Revisited: 2022-2023

Projected Population Growth of India (

Aramis Zaiser, Reporter

India’s population has just exceeded China’s, according to the World Population Review. This shift, making India the world’s most populous country, was also expected in projections by the United Nations. Bloomberg has also just estimated India’s population at 1.417 billion and China’s 1.412 billion. The numbers show that India currently has 5 million more people than China. While China’s population is further declining, India’s much younger population keeps growing until, according to India’s National Commission on Population, it will reach 1.52 billion by 2036. In other words, 1 out of 5 people on our planet will soon be an Indian and no longer Chinese. 

The population “race” is not the only relationship these countries have. Politically, China and India have had growing tensions. In January of 2023, A new poll shows that Indians largely see China as the country’s greatest military threat. This is due to a multitude of reasons, such as India-China border dispute. According to the BBC, The two world powers are facing off against each other along their disputed border in the Himalayan region.  Even so, this was considered to be only a mere “skirmish”, and with India’s victory over China in 1967, both countries are said to have maintained a peaceful relationship.

Economically India’s population doesn’t seem to be the only thing that is growing. By the end of the decade, India, already the biggest democracy in the world with one of the largest armies, will become the third-largest economy worldwide: a major economic and geopolitical player as well a sought-after ally. With Apple’s plans to produce up to a quarter of all its iPhones in India, and the baseline projected GDP growth of 6.5 percent in real terms in FY24 according to the Economic Survey 2022-23 from the Indian Ministry of finance. 

One final problem tied closely to India’s rapid population growth is climate change. According to Yale University, by 2050, 148.3 million people in India will be living in severe hotspots. Additionally, more than 80 percent of India’s population lives in districts highly vulnerable to extreme weather events. Not is this severely impactful to world climate as a whole, but Climate change is also expected to have major health impacts in India- increasing malnutrition and related health disorders according to the World Bank Organization. Even so, the Environmental Defense Fund seems to be actively working to stop these harmful effects from occurring in India despite the increasing difficulty of the problem. 

With the big milestone of India surpassing China’s population, we can be sure to see a lot of change, both good and bad, in the next couple of years.