Bangladesh population

India’s demographic enigma!

India’s population growth is a worrying issue. The current population growth rate being 1%, implies that India will add more than 13 million people in the current year. Life expectancy is 69.42 years and the mortality rate is 7.3 per thousand.

Although the fertility rate has been declining in India, yet the birth rate is much higher than the death rate as compared to other countries.

India’s current population is estimated at 1.412 billion people, or almost 17.7% of the world’s population. We are getting closer to China, whose population is 1.426 billion and which has 18.47% of the world’s population. “India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by 2024 and is expected to reach a total population of 1.5 billion by 2030 and 1.66 billion by 2050, well ahead of the 1.317 billion people of China by the middle of the century. Currently, the two countries represent nearly 40% of the world’s population,” the UN said.

According to the UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 report, the two most populous regions in the world in 2022 are East and Southeast Asia, with 2.3 billion people, or 29% of the world’s population. world population, and Central and South Asia, with 2.1 billion, or 26% of the total world population. The report also adds that ten countries are estimated to have experienced a net outflow of more than one million migrants between 2010 and 2021. In many of these countries, these outflows were due to temporary labor movements. , as for Pakistan (net outflow of -16.5 million during the period 2010-2021), India (-3.5 million), Bangladesh (-2.9 million), Nepal (-1 .6 million) and Sri Lanka (-1 million).

For India, it is more difficult with a large population, a widespread jobs crisis and climate change directly affecting its limited resources. Poor livelihoods have encouraged the poor and illiterate population of the country to reproduce at a higher rate than their middle and high income counterparts, earning more income until they realize it is backfiring on them. long-term. Simultaneously, due to climate change resulting in extreme weather conditions, worldwide there is an increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Naturally, the term climate refugees has gained traction.

India, home to 18% of the world’s population, has only 4% of its water resources. According to an IMF study, India had almost eradicated extreme poverty by 2020-21 when food subsidies are taken into account. However, the per capita nutritional supply in India is among the lowest in the world. India has more than halved the number of severely poor people, according to a World Bank working paper released in April 2022. The Union government has launched many programs over the past few years to reduce poverty, the food crisis, unemployment and these programs. succeeded to some extent in alleviating many societal, economic and agricultural problems. Yet the accelerating pace of population growth continues to outweigh the initiatives taken to achieve these Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, in case of unfavorable dependency ratio between older and younger generations, it means having fewer young people and more old people, as well as less social and financial security in India, especially for older people, will cause new problems. Moreover, if young people are unemployed and their skills are not developed, it will lead to a demographic catastrophe.

A large population will put more strain on natural resources. The GDP of the poor, which is an estimate of forest, water, soil and other natural resources, etc. being the main source of livelihood for the poor, depreciates due to overexploitation. The outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 raised poverty levels in India. An additional 150-199 million people are estimated to fall into poverty by the end of 2022. According to a CMIE report, around 7 million jobs have been lost in one year. The dynamics of supply and demand have changed, with a reduction in consumer spending to control financial outflows. India’s economy also has one of the highest rates of child poverty. According to Niti Aayog, 25% of the Indian population is poor. In the Global MPI 2021 ranking, India ranks 66 out of 109 other countries.

However, India is no longer the country with the most extreme poverty, says the Brookings report. In the global ranking of poverty, India is falling. The Indian government’s spending on rural social welfare programs has contributed greatly to reducing national poverty. By 2030, the government aims to eradicate extreme poverty across the country, currently measured as the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day. In the early years after independence, family planning was the main focus of domestic policy in India, the first country in the world to have a government family planning program. However, over time, the Indian government’s approach shifted from encouraging contraceptive measures to improving reproductive health and empowering women and families. Well, this initiative was only suitable for educated families who understand why it was necessary.

Education levels contribute significantly to implementing the right mindset; the southern states where literacy levels were good, the population remained stable, on the contrary the northern “bimaru” states with their low levels of education saw their population increase exponentially.

Moreover, India does not have a national child policy today.

CM Yogi Adityanath took a lead in this regard by unveiling a new population policy for Uttar Pradesh, which with over 166 million people qualifies as India’s most populous state. If any state needs a population policy, it is UP and Bihar, the most populous and backward states. The proposal promotes a two-child policy and aims to increase the accessibility of contraceptive measures. Persons who violate it will not be able to stand for election to local bodies, apply for government jobs or receive government grants. Digital tracking measures for newborns, adolescents and seniors will be put in place. Improved care for the elderly, as well as the provision of quality education, health and nutrition are promised by the government. But how successful these promises will be remains to be seen. Providing quality education and pushing back the age of marriage will help limit the number of children in a family. Southern states have set the example. Six states – UP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – have around 40% of India’s population and fertility rates above the replacement level of 2.1. However, since wisdom is not immediately appreciated, states that manage to stabilize their population will be rewarded with fewer seats in parliament.

India needs serious measures to control the population. Although there is a reduction of the no. children than before, the growth curve has not yet flattened. Incentives, disincentives, education and awareness are the best ways to control the population.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.