8 billion & falling: India, soon to be the world’s most populous country, has a narrow window to encash its demographic dividend

Source: The post is based on an article “8 billion & falling: India, soon to be the world’s most populous country, has a narrow window to encash its demographic dividend” published in The Times of India on 16th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS 1- Population

Relevance: concerns associated with rising population

News: Global population has reached 8 billion. The world’s population has more than doubled over the last six decades, even when developing countries tried to control their population expansion.

What are the concerns with the rise in population for the world?

Globally, the population is rising but the fact is that there has been demographic decline with a low fertility rate. It is also expected that population graying will be dominant in this century.

What does rising population implies for India?

India is set to become the world’s most populous country in the next year.

However, with the increase in population, the fertility rate in India has also declined and has dropped below the replacement level. Therefore, the challenge lies with India in using its demographic dividend.

What is the current situation of India and what is the way forward?

The share of the working age population peaked at 66% in 2012 globally whereas the working age population in India stood at 70% in 2020. This shows that India’s performance compared to the world is not up to the mark.

Research also indicates that in India the economic benefit from the demographic transition has been lower than other Asian countries.

Further, the proportion of the overall working age population in India was at 46% in 2021 while the global average was 59%.

The situation is poorer when it comes to the employment of women in India. World Bank’s data shows that women employment in India is at only 19% compared to a global average of 46%.

Therefore, India needs to employ more women, improve its overall human capital quality by skilling them and come up with the right policy. This will help India to utilize its demographic dividend efficiently.

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