Indian Elephant or Chinese Dragon: The story in numbers


The comparison between India and now seems to be one of the favorite topics of discussion across the Indian community. says that it has become the national pastime, and I wholly agree to it. India has been in shadows for last 2 or 3 decades, with the China hogging the limelight for its magical growth story since early eighties.

This article has some interesting comparisons between India and China. Here are some of the excerpts:

India’s economic growth touched 9.2 per cent last year, just short of China’s 10.4 per cent. This year things are going even better. With one estimate putting growth at a seasonally adjusted 11.4 per cent in the first quarter, India might even overtake China to become the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2007.

The competition between the two Asian giants – both ancient civilizations, each with more than one billion people – is the great race of the early 21st century, and Indians are watching it with excitement and fierce pride.

Actually is you look at the numbers, Chinese Dragon does looks to have a very big lead over India. However, sometimes the numbers do not give the complete picture. The biggest drawback for China is a very closed and fragile economy, which is at very high risk as compared to a more liberalized and democratic Indian economy.

Here are the numbers:

Details China India
Gross Domestic Product $2.7 trillion $ 1.01 trillion
Per Capita GDP $2069 $840
Exports $974 Billion $112 Billion
Foreign Exchange Reserves $1.2 trillion $211 Billion
Population below Poverty line 10% 25%
Human Development index (U.N)
out of 177 countries
81 126
Life Expectancy 72.9 63.6
Ave. birth per women 1.7 3.1
% population under 15 years 22 39.8
% population malnourished 12 20
mortality rate under 5yrs (per 1000) 31 85

So if you see this table except young population, India is behind China currently by long margin. However, as mentioned earlier only numbers do not give the correct picture. Stay tuned to this blog for more posts giving you comparisons and future outlook of India and China.

Do you think India will surpass China ? If yes, when ?

  1. Lisa says

    “Actually is you look at the numbers, Chinese Dragon does looks to have a very big lead over India.”
    So my answer to “Do you think India will surpass China ?” is probably no.

  2. Chandra says

    When China devaluates its money it uses the extra cash to buy up oil and mines abroad. It builds infrastructure look at Shangai it is building semiconductor industries, its own processor and it USES IT to intergrate the industries. And a lower yuan is used to monopolize industries so today China is the sole producer of many goods and has wipe out other manufacturers.
    India in contrast devalues its money does not build infrastructure, but instead dumps its money on russian junk aircraft carriers (believe it – it costs 1.4 Billion to repair a 20yr old junk – by the way a mordern one costs 2 Billion) and the rest in swiss accounts. We are still major exporters of cheap iron ore. Many African countries have better transperency than we have. The state of our IT industry is low end … look at our e governance, railway site or how many transport agencies have an online booking.
    China is way ahead of India and unless we make some much needed changes we will soon be comparing ourself with war torn Somalia.

  3. ever4244 says

    and how can a closed economy become the world No.3 trader( No.2 this year)


  4. ever4244 says

    Chinese market is closed than india ? are you kidding ?
    How can a WTO member close his market, please enlighten me!!!!!!!!

    Typical indian wind-bag

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