India has become the world’s most populous country, surpassing China, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations’ Population Division. India’s population now stands at 1,425,775,850, whereas China’s population is at 1.425 billion inhabitants, marking a significant shift in global demographics.
The population growth rate of both India and China has been decreasing; however, India’s population growth rate is still higher than China’s. While India’s population growth rate has been declining, it reached its lowest level since 1960 at 0.61% in 2023. On the other hand, China’s population growth rate has also been declining, experiencing a decline after reaching a peak of 1.426 billion inhabitants in 2022.
It is noteworthy that India has overtaken China in population despite having a significantly smaller land area. India covers an area of 3.287 million square kilometers, while China covers an enormous area of 9.597 million square kilometers. India is ranked seventh globally in terms of total area, while China is the largest country in Asia and the fourth largest country in the world.
The gap between India and China’s population is closing rapidly due to India’s higher population growth rate. This can be attributed to the substantial number of women entering their reproductive years in India. Furthermore, India contributes significantly to the global working-age population growth, accounting for 23% of the growth between 2020 and 2025.
Becoming the world’s most populous country has several implications for India, including social, economic, and environmental factors. With a sizable young population, India is faced with the challenge of providing adequate education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Additionally, the growing population puts pressure on the country’s infrastructure, resources, and environmental sustainability.
India’s newfound status as the most populous country in the world also highlights the nation’s appeal as a tourist destination. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, India attracted approximately seven million tourists from around the world, with famous attractions like the Taj Mahal and the Amber Palace drawing visitors from far and wide.
The shift in global population dynamics carries significant implications not just for India and China, but also for the rest of the world. Therefore, it is essential to have effective population management strategies, sustainable development practices, and investments in social and economic infrastructure to ensure a prosperous future for the world’s most populous country.