India to overtake China as the world’s most populous country


Dhanush Gowda

From 1960 to 2021, the population of India has increased from approximately 451 million to around 1.41 billion people, growing at an unprecedented rate in the last 61 years.

The global population reached 8 billion people on November 15, with the UN reporting that India is to surpass China’s population at some point this year or in the future. 

Much like China, as India’s population soars, the government has attempted to lower population growth by penalizing families with more than two children, similar to China’s one-child policy. The now defunct (2015) one-child policy, however, has led to declines in China’s overall population. 

“A while ago, in Africa and India, populations increased because of high fertility rates. China had something rare happen where they said their population decreased for the first time in 60 years,” said Mike Liu (‘25).

As India’s population continues to grow, so has its amount of emigrants, with India having the world’s largest diasporic population at 17 million. 

“Given that India has a much smaller portion of land [than China,] I think it is more likely that a lot of people would move out to places like the US, increasing the portion of Indians here and around the world,” said Anish Rao (‘24).

This emigration wave has been compared to that of China’s as demographers note similarities between the two nations’ demographic structures. China, however, is currently seeing a demographic decline, with its population aging rapidly.

“I feel like it’ll give fewer young people to replace the rapidly aging population. There is a huge percentage that will pass into their senior and elderly years. This will hamper their economy with only a small number of young people to replace them. This demographic decline has been seen and warned several decades ago, like in Japan,” said Liu.

As the global population passes 8 billion, and India continues to grow, the country will be forced to adapt in ways to accommodate more and more citizens. While the population increase is expected to be a challenge for India to bear, the nation hopes to acquire a more powerful presence, gaining recognition and respect from the global community. 

“India is an amazing place. It is a rising power and I am excited to see them stand among the leaders of our world,” said Ativ Asarawala (‘24)