India is poised to overtake China as the most populous country
According to United Nations figures released this week, India is probably going to overtake China by population this year.
As our charts show, both nations are currently estimated to have populations of 1.43 billion people. But the trend lines are quite different – as is the demographic breakdown shown in the two charts.
India’s death rate has fallen, life expectancy is rising, incomes have increased, and the birth rate remains high. That means the population is young: more than half of Indians are under the age of 40. The population isn’t projected to start declining (under the UN’s fertility assumptions) until the 2060s.
By contrast, China’s population is aging and has started to decline – a legacy of the one-child policy between 1980 and 2015.