INDIA’S GROWING POPULATION: What do the numbers say?

Posted by NISCHAL V
February 20, 2017

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We control the growth of every other species, not our own”.


What is the population of India? A whopping 1.3bn and counting. i.e. more than total population of USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, and Bangladesh combined together. Though we haven’t produced the Usain Bolt’s, the Rafael Nadal’s we are doing fairly well in all International platforms. We may have many burning issues with the world’s most populous nation but we will definitely replace them from the top position in the coming decades.

India’s area is roughly around 3.2 million km sq. and accounts for 2.4% of total surface area of the world. India contributes 17.5% to the world population of 7.2 bn.  India added over 181 million in the last decade. By 2022, it is expected that India is likely to surpass china and world population crossing 9 billion by 2050. Though major contribution to the world population will be from the cradle of human kind (AFRICA), India will stand anywhere between 1.6-1.8bn.

Isn’t it scary to imagine 160cr to 180cr people a diverse background and people from all over the world living together? Yes.

We have been living together since ages without any discrimination-“Vasudhaiva kutumbakam”.  But will the situation remain the same? Hopefully it does.

As Mahatma Gandhi said “India lives in its villages”, even after 70 years of independence 68% of India lives in its villages and are agrarian society. Of the remaining 30%, around 10-15% is in the organised sector.

What are the future projections?

  • India will add about 110 million workforce by 2020.
  • 290 million will urbanize by 2030 and by 2050 the numbers will rise to 640mn.
  • In 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, Japan at 47 years, and 37 for China.

India will be the CHINA of 1980’s to 2000’s, with a huge number of people in the Working Age Population (WIP) i.e around 70%. With the population pyramid in India’s favour, the term Demographic Dividend will end up being a disaster if steps aren’t taken to create more jobs: mainly for the unskilled section of the society. I say it as unskilled section because the state of education is not producing skilled workforce. Automation has already started showing its effect in the Western world, days are not far when India will come across the situation of losing jobs.

Problems associated with high population?

  • High unemployment rate, pressure on the economy, unequal distribution of income.
  • Over exploitation of land, water, forest resources. This puts pressure on the future generations.
  • Quality of food, its production and distribution are not keeping pace with the increasing population. Lack of concentration on health and education sector.
  • “Poor will die poor”. Poor infrastructure results in rapid increase of slums and spread of diseases.

What can be done?

  • Huge spending on Infrastructure for education.
  • Huge spending on Health sector. This results in reduced mortality rate and gives confidence in the family that child will survive and will earn his bread and subsequently reduce the family size.
  • Educating people regarding early marriages and its impact on the health of young mothers.
  • To create awareness to the mass regarding higher standard of living.
  • To inculcate the skill entrepreneurship.
  • The CSR of huge corporates need to reach the remote areas and spread awareness.


Right from Punjab up to the deltas of Brahmaputra- the Indo-Gangetic plain, the people of this region are dependent on agriculture and also the state of education is not well off. The southern part of India is better off in terms of education and per capita income. In the coming decades, India has to make a switch over to Industrial economy to make full utilization of favourable demographics else it will be a demographic disaster.

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