By mid-2030, India’s population will likely be 8% more than that of China, and by mid-2050, this ‘lead’ will become 25%, according to the 2018 World Population Data Sheet released by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a Washington-based non-profit organisation.
The PRB figures show that, at the moment, the Indian and Chinese populations are estimated to be 1.37 and 1.39 billion respectively. While India’s population is expected to reach 1.53 and 1.68 billion by mid-2030 and mid-2050, China’s is likely to reach 1.42 billion by mid-2030 and then fall to 1.34 billion by mid-2050.
That India will replace China as the world’s most populous country does not mean that its demographic transition is not happening.
Demographic transition is the process in which a country’s death rates and birth rates decline with economic development. Because death rates start declining earlier than birth rates, there is an initial phase of rapid increase in population.
According to PRB estimates, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of India’s population between mid-2018 to mid-2030 is likely to be 0.93%, and come down to 0.46% between 2030 and 2050. China’s population will have a CAGR of -0.27% during this time.
It is this demographic transition that will lead to a decline in India’s share in both the world’s and South Asia’s population in mid-2030 and mid-2050 compared to what it is now.