According to a United Nation’s report World Population Prospect: the 2015 Revision, India is purported to surpass China’s population by the year 2021-22 and emerge as the world’s most populous nation. Currently, China is the world’s most populated country in the world with a population of 1.376 billion as of 2015 while India has a population of 1.311 billion people.
The UN report was compiled using previous data from its 2010 survey as well as information from specialized surveys and demographics. The United Nations uses various indicators to assess population trends at the local/regional, national and international levels.
Earlier India’s population growth rate was estimated to exceed China’s by the year 2050; however, this estimation was gradually lowered down to 2030. This is because of a shift in the growth rate of population in China owing to declining fertility rates. Fertility rates refer to the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime. Or simply stated, it is the ratio of total births per woman.
India’s fertility rate is estimated at 2.48 children per woman (cpw) while China’s fertility rate is a close 1.55 cpw. As a result, this higher fertility rate will cause a higher population growth in India. Another cause for India’s estimated exceeding population rates is its sizeable youth in its reproductive age, contributing to its population momentum (a drastic increase).
India’s population density is 382 people per square kilometer while China’s population density is 141 people per square kilometer. India’s population density (the number of people per square km) is already twice that of China’s; it is but natural that India’s population density will continue rising. China and India have 19% and 18% of the world’s total population, respectively.
Meanwhile, in a strange turn of events, many reports have surfaced claiming that India has already surpassed China’s current population. A Chinese scholar Yi Fuxian (a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA) allegedly says that India’s population is already more than China’s.
He made this claim at an event in Peking University in China. Mr. Fuxian says that Chinese demographers and statisticians had overestimated China’s population by 90 million and that China’s population could not have exceeded 1.29 billion by the end of 2016. On the other hand, the Indian government exclaims that there is officially no estimate of India’s population as of date. Mr. Fuxian’s claims have been challenged by many, citing misrepresentation and exaggeration.