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Indian Express


1) A matter of greying


  • The prospects for the population of India and the destiny of humanity are important topics of interest and concern.
  • In a 2019 research, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projected that by 2027, India would overtake China as the world’s most populous nation.
  • This forecast has actually materialized. The report goes on to say that until 2050, India and a few other nations would see the greatest population growth.
  • It is anticipated that India will account for more than half of global population, significantly boosting growth.
  • Concurrently, it is projected that the population of Sub-Saharan Africa would double by 2050. This population rise, though, is very different from other regions of the world.

Global Trend of Aging Populations:

  • Aging populations represent a significant global trend known as greying.”
  • A number of variables, including longer life expectancies, lower birth rates, and the aging of bigger cohorts of people, are responsible for this phenomena.
  • In many places, the number of people 65 and older is increasing at a very quick pace.
  • For instance, about 28% of people in Japan are 65 years of age or older, and by 2050, age groupings consisting of older and younger people should be similar.

India’s Aging Population and Fertility Decline:

  • The UNFPA’s “India Aging Report, 2023” states that, worldwide, 1.1 billion people or 13.9% of the total population were 60 years of age or older in 2022.
  • It is predicted that the number of senior people worldwide would double to 2.1 billion during the next three decades, or 22% of the overall population.
  • In 2022, there were 149 million elderly persons in India, or 10.5% of the total population, who were 60 years of age or older.
  • This group is expected to treble to account for 347 million people, or 20.8% of India’s total population, by 2050.
  • India’s healthcare system, economy, and society are all projected to be significantly impacted by this country’s aging population.

Challenges of Fertility Decline:

  • Falling fertility rates are a problem for both developed and developing nations; emerging countries are more affected by this decline early in their development than developed countries.
  • As their populations started to age, developed countries had higher per capita income levels, which made managing the economic effects of aging populations easier.
  • In contrast, the fast aging of their populations would put economic strain on nations like India, who do not have the luxury of greater income levels.

Impact of Aging Populations:

  • There are negative effects of aging populations, including a smaller labor force, fewer taxpayers, and lower economic potential.
  • The healthcare systems are further burdened by this demographic transition.

Geopolitical Implications:

  • India is not the only country experiencing an aging population; this is a worldwide phenomenon.
  • Twenty percent of India’s population is predicted to be elderly by the year 2050.
  • Global geopolitics and economics are affected by aging populations, according to a study published in the Lancet.
  • Among the important points are that by century’s end, there will be multipolar powers, with the United States, China, India, and Nigeria as the main players.
  • With considerable population decreases predicted in these regions, it is anticipated that both Europe and Asia would become less influential.
  • It is argued that when geopolitical power undergoes drastic transitions, immigration and women’s reproductive rights will be important determinants.

Preparing for Demographic Change in India:

  • India’s changing demographics raise concerns about how well-prepared the country is for these changes.
  • India’s healthcare system, economy, and society face particular problems as a result of an older population and falling fertility rates.
  • For India to remain prosperous and well-off in the future, it will be essential to adjust to these changes and make sure they are managed appropriately.

Way Forward:

  • India’s population growth and the destiny of humanity are complicated issues with wide-ranging effects.
  • Like other countries, India has to deal with the issues brought about by an aging population and falling fertility rates while also taking the geopolitical and economic ramifications of these demographic shifts into account.

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