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Last updated: February 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

India and China population – A blessing in disguise ?

Note: This is the 4th post in the 30 part series that I am doing on Key success factors for doing business in India – A 30 part series !, that I plan to do over next month.

India and China are probably the most talked about countries outside of US currently. The reason – their phenomenal growth.

Some years back the reason was different, it was their population, and you couldn’t but stop people talking about the economic problems that these two countries were facing due to it. Guess what, it was a blessing in disguise !
The growth that these two countries are seeing now is on the back of their large young working population. The aging Germany or US know very well the importance of having a young and working population and its effect on economy. A good well educated young working class can lift a nation against all odds and vice a versa.

This post will mostly presents the facts and comparison of population between India and China and their effects.

India currently stands at a very advantageous position as you will learn shortly from these facts:

  • India is now forecast to surpass China in total population by 2030, five years earlier than previously thought.
  • India’s population is slated to rise by almost 350 million over the next quarter century, twice as fast as the United States, Western Europe and China combined.
  • While China’s population is currently (2005) larger than India’s by over 200 million, by 2050 India’s population is expected to exceed China’s by 200 million.
  • India’s urban population is projected to rise from 29 percent of total population in 2005 to 41 percent by 2030.

Population comparison between India and China

More critical for economic growth, however, is the rate of growth in the labor force. This is best estimated by projecting growth in the “working-age” population (age 15-60). Here, India’s advantages are amplified. The growth in India’s working age population is expected to exceed its already rapid population growth until 2015. While China’s working age population declines from 2020 to 2050, India’s increases until at least 2045. Reversals of fortune. China’s current working age population dwarfs India’s by 230 million, however, by 2050 India’s working age population will exceed China’s by the same amount.

India China Working Age Population
India’s youthful population profile, coupled with a sharply declining fertility rate suggests a relative slowdown in the number of children expected to be added in the coming decades. The experience of Asia shows that the economic miracles in Japan and in the “Tiger Economies” of Southeast Asia and recently in China occurred at a similar stage of demographic transition where the share of working population grew sharply. China, conversely, is aging faster than any other country in history. It is unique in that it is growing old before it has grown rich. Its one-child policy is largely responsible for this effect. Chinese officials state that 300 million births over the past 30 years were “averted” as a result of this policy. China’s transition to an aging population is particularly abrupt, and a serious gender imbalance will only exacerbate the population decline starting in 2030.

Any entity planning to start business in India, is going to have distinct advantages over other countries when it comes to building a good workforce over coming years.

Technorati tags: India, China, population, workforce, comparison, growth


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  • […] on the back of some of these supportive income distribution patterns and working population strength, the report says the organized retail is set to grow from Rs.1000 billion in FY09 to Rs. 6260 crore […]

  • With such meager resources per person we will see a whole lot of retards and half wits ripe for exploitation. I am not being a racist here ( I was an Indian myself), just laying out a simple fact that malnutrition which is a certainty for majority of the people will severely disadvantage the population.

  • MY India still has to give me more ;; i am only 22 , An Indian living abroad. i know the real value of doing a business in India. also Educated in north america and India gives me advantage to see the business both way. Regardless of having an excellent life in Toronto in next five year. I will be heading back to India in a metropolitan city with a business plan. To make my fortune and enjoy MY INDIAN DREAM.

  • thank u very very much. I really feeling so bad about my country. i wonder why peopel figves so many births. they only need 2 children either its girl or boy.

  • i want to give birth to at least 4 childern and two adopted from cambodia so all together 6 childern i am proud to be an indian it is population boom in india

  • I am not very much ok with the fact that the population of India is going to be a blessing for the future. Sure at this point of time there could be no doubt that India is developing at a very fast rate but if India does not control its exploding population then that is going to push all the years of hard work to a meaningless waste. The country at this point of time is really balancing the needs of the people but with agriculture and farming being neglected by the younger generation, the unimaginable scenes of famine and drought cannot be deleted from the near future. As a master graduate from one of the prestigious university in India, I really know the cost of productivity of agriculture towards population. The rich and the educated would easily find ways to escape leaving the middle class and the poor to starve thus letting them down. An absolute example is mumbai, where only the very rich or the very poor can accomodate into. When the booming population can be well handled in our financial capital, can it be wisely handled all over the country, please think.

  • How can a growing population in an already over populated land mass be a blessing? Right from the very basic: food, housing, water will all come under a great amount of strain. To accomodate more people more forest will be cut affecting the environment. Schools , colleges etc. its already a huge fight getting admission how are we going to be able to accomodate more students? When I was in school and trust me my paretns did their best to put me through the best schools, there were already 60 students in each class. This was aroun 15 years back. Getting jobs when there is so much of competition is going to get difficult. Sure it will give way for outsourcing jobs, because it will be cheaper…but at what cost? The quality of life will be compromised even more. How can educated people say that our population is a blessing. Our infrastructure just cannot cater to these volumes. We own 2.4 % of the world land mass, how are we going to accomodate more people? I honestly dont see this as a blessing, I think we are heading for some big trouble.

  • Quite interesting. There are two things that come to mind ; 1] What if China rethinks its one child policy and goes for 2 childpolicy. 2] After some time our population will also stabilise and itmay be too late asthere would be suddenly too many old people in India. Jayant

  • surprising to think that India may be the correct long term play.  or perhaps invest in both…

  • it seems to be interesting, but I need numbers. I need the annual per cent of the growing population for my homework in maths. but nevertheless thanks for the information.

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