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Friday, November 20, 2009

By ’50, India will have most people

Country will pip China, boast a 1,198m population

Viju B | TNN 

Mumbai: India is going to be the world's most populous country in the next 40 years, says a report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday. 
    India will overtake China by 2050, with a population of 1,198 million people, while China will become the second-most populous nation with 1,417 million people by 2050. 
    Currently, China is the most populated country in the world with 1,345.8 million people. India comes a close second at 1,198 million. 
    But China's strict family planning measures, especially the 'one family, one child' policy have yielded results and the rate of projected population 
growth between 2005 and 2010 is just 0.6%, while India grew at 1.4% in the same period. "India's population will grow for, say, another 25 years and then stabilise. We can see a decline in population after that while China had taken population control measures much ahead of us,'' said Dr D K Mangal, state coordinator of UNFPA. 
    Infant mortality deaths in India in the past five years were more than double as those in China and Brazil. While 85 males and 95 girls below five years of age died per a 1,000 births in 
India, in China 25 boys and 36 girls died, and in Brazil, 33 male children and 25 female children died in the same period, the report said. 
    India's fertility rate was 2.44% while China had a lower fertility rate of 1.77%. "The fertility rate also includes parameters like increase in awareness about family planning and reproductive health and literacy. Many poorer countries in African state have higher fertility rate and also higher infant mortality rate,'' Mangal said. 

    The per capita energy consumption of India is 510 kilogram while China's average energy consumption is 1,433 kilogram, the UNFPA report said. 
    India has 30% of its land area under urban cover while China has around 44%. 
    UNFPA officials said social and economic indicators provides a broad trend about the quality of life of people living in these countries and more importantly, the pattern of consumption. 
    "The western model of development of looking at the GDP as the only parameter for growth is going to damage the environment in a big way. We need alternative modes of development which are sustainable so that carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced. 
    Natural disasters like unprecedented floods and droughts are results of global warming and rise in temperature,'' said Vandana Krishna, secretary, department of child and family welfare.


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