India’s ‘Population Explosion’?
In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned against the “population explosion” that was holding back India’s development. While it’s true that India is still in a phase of population growth, that phenomenon is heavily concentrated in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan; overall, Indian population growth appears to have stabilised, with a noticeable downtrend towards the replacement rate (the number at which the population neither grows nor diminishes) of 2.1. In fact, most of South India now has low, European-level birth rates. Thanks largely to the North, by 2027, India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation. India currently has a high working-age population, but, by 2050, a projected slowdown in fertility rates is seen creating a very large population of over-60s, a significant burden should India remain a middle-income country.
India’s population (1.37 billion), as of August 27, 2019, as per estimates by the United Nations. (About 17.7% of the global population.) Fertility rate: 2.36; replacement rate: 2.1
Increase in population between 2018 and 2019. An annual change of 1%, compared to 1.2% in 2015, 1.9% in 2000 and 2.3% in 1985
Indian states and union territories had fertility rates below 2.1 in 2016, says the government. Sikkim: 1.2; Punjab, West Bengal:
1.6; Tamil Nadu, Delhi: 1.7; Kerala, Maharashtra: 1.8
The number of years India will enjoy a demographic dividend—a larger working-age population (15 to 64) than dependants (below 15, above 65)— from 2018 to 2055
The percentage of India’s population expected to be over the age of 60 by 2050. Up from 8% in 2015. Will rise to over 33% by 2011, says a UN report
The likely population growth, 2000-2050. But over-60s will grow by 326%, over-80s by 700%. To cope, India must become a developed economy by 2030 says an SBI report
Bihar’s fertility rate in 2016, the highest in India, says the government. Uttar Pradesh (3.1); Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (2.7); Jharkhand (2.6); Chhattisgarh (2.5); Gujarat (2.2)