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Home » World » India, China Population Expected To Dip; Over 20 Countries To Register Decline Too, Says Lancet Study

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India, China Population Expected To Dip; Over 20 Countries To Register Decline Too, Says Lancet Study

By the end of the century, the world’s most populous country– China, will see its population figures in millions and not in billions.

People walking with Covid-19 masks. (PTI File Image)

New Delhi: The fertility rates of the most populated countries in the world- China and India have dipped after years of rigorous policy decisions and restrictions. While China, for over four decades followed its draconian one-child policy, India laid emphasis on family planning and government perks to encourage its citizen to have no more than two children.

These often termed as irreversible, policy moves have borne fruits as the total fertility rate in India dropped in 2021 to 2.179 births per woman, a 0.95 per cent decline from 2020. The fertility rate for India in 2020 was 2.200 births per woman, a 0.9 per cent decline from 2019.

ALSO READ: India’s Fertility Rate Drops Below Replacement Level While Child Nutrition Improves: Govt Study

Meanwhile, in China, the drop was even steeper as its fertility rate further declined from 1.6 live births per woman in 2017 to just 1.3 births per woman in 2020. Because of this dip, China’s annual population growth rate dropped to a new low of less than 0.3 per cent in 2020.

According to the latest Lancet study, for the first time in centuries, not only in India and China but the overall population in the world is expected to fall. The data suggests the world population which is around 7.8 billion people, is expected to peak in 2064. The population peak will be at nearly 9.7 billion and will drop to 8.8 billion by 2100, within few decades.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) approved the three-child policy for China in May 2021. (Source: Pixabay)

“These factors drive the fertility rate – the average number of children a woman delivers over her lifetime which is the largest determinant of population. The global total fertility rate is predicted to steadily decline, from 2.37 in 2017 to 1.66 in 2100, well below the minimum rate (2.1 live births per woman) considered necessary to maintain population numbers,” said the lead study author and Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Stein Emil Vollset, to IFLScience.

ALSO READ: China Announces New 3-Child Policy

The five largest countries that will witness a major drop in their populations are India (1.09 billion), Nigeria (791 million), China (732 million), the USA (336 million), and Pakistan (248 million).

By the end of the century, the world’s most populous country– China, will see its population figures in millions and not in billions.

ALSO READ: ‘Super Kids’: Why Parents In China Are Injecting Their Children With ‘Chicken Blood’

For reference, the latest population figures in these countries are: India (1.38 billion), Nigeria (206 million), China (1.412 billion), the USA (332 million), and Pakistan (225 million).

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According to a UN Study, from 2017 to 2050, half of the world’s population growth is expected to be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda and Indonesia.

However, the report says the population of up to 23 countries could shrink more than half which include countries like- Japan, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and South Korea that will be marked by a low birth rate and aging populations.

People wearing face masks walk across the street near Yongsan Station in Seoul, South Korea, July 8, 2021. (Source: Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)

Dr Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, said in a statement: “The 21st century will see a revolution in the story of our human civilization. Africa and the Arab World will shape our future, while Europe and Asia will recede in their influence. By the end of the century, the world will be multipolar, with India, Nigeria, China, and the US the dominant powers. This will truly be a new world, one we should be preparing for today.” 

The report’s findings suggest that continued impetus on female education and easy access to contraception will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth. The biggest decline is expected in China where the population is expected to fall by nearly half by the century’s end. China’s population was forecasted to decline by 48 percent by 2100, according to the study.

The findings also point to a shift in age structure in many parts of the world, with 2.37 billion people will be older than 65 years and 1.7 billion individuals will be younger than 20 years, by 2100. This means that nearly 20 percent of the world’s population would have aged, while 14 per cent will constitute the world’s youth.

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