GS Paper 1
Syllabus: Population and Associated Issues
Direction: This is from ‘The Hindu Podcast’, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of India becoming the world’s most populous nation in 2023.
Context: 2023 is set to be a landmark year for India’s population trajectory, as the country is predicted to overtake China to become the world’s most populous nation.
- According to the UN World Population Prospects 2022, India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in
- India’s population stands at 412 billion in 2022 and is projected to have a population of 1.668 billion in 2050.
- India is expected to reach 1,428.6 million in 2023. On the other hand, China’s population fell to 1,411.8 million in 2022 (from 1,412.6 million in 2021).
Implications for India:
|● India will continue to have one of the world’s youngest populations until 2030.
● Currently, in a demographic window of opportunity – a “youth bulge,” that will last until 2025 (median age in India – 28.7 years, 38.4 – in China, 48.6 – in Japan).
● Thus, prospects to reap the demographic dividend – share of the working-age population will peak at 57% towards the mid-2030s.
● More working-age population → more tax revenues → savings potential will increase → high growth rate.
● A relatively lower number of those needing care such as the elderly and young children.
|● Lack of policies for education, skilling and health in place.
● Vast underemployment among educated youths.
● In the absence of meaningful opportunities for the youth, the demographic dividend → demographic nightmare.
● Uneven population growth. For example, some Southern states have populations that age faster than some northern States.
- India must shift its lens from ‘population control’ to ‘population development’.
- For this, India must frame policies and strategies to effectively unleash the full potential of its young people.
Conclusion: India is not fully utilizing its demographic dividend, which refers to the economic advantage of having a large working-age population. To fully reap the benefits, India must create high-quality jobs and equip its young, skilled workforce to fill them.