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The State of World Population Report, 2023

India to overtake China as world’s most populous country by mid-2023: UN report.The United Nations Population Fund’s, ‘The State of World Population Report, 2023’,

Context:- The State of World Population Report, 2023 published by United Nations Population Fund Agency. Report says India to overtake China as world’s most populous country by mid-2023.

  • The United Nations Population Fund’s, ‘The State of World Population Report, 2023’, titled ‘8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: The Case for Rights and Choices’ was released.
  • The latest figures were given under the category of ‘Demographic Indicators’ in the report.
  • It is the first time that India’s population has overtaken China’s since 1950 when the UN began to collect and release population data.

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  • Global Population Distribution: According to the UNFPA, the world’s population stands at 8,045 million, with the majority (65%) falling within the age group of 15 to 64 years, followed by those in the 10-24 age group (24%). Furthermore, 10 percent of the global population is aged above 65 years.
  • Most Populous Regions: As per the UN’s 2022 report, the world’s two most densely populated regions are Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, housing 2.3 billion people, which constitutes 29 percent of the global population. Additionally, Central and Southern Asia is home to 2.1 billion individuals, representing 26 percent of the global population. Remarkably, China and India are the two countries with the most substantial populations within these regions, each exceeding 1.4 billion in 2022.
  • Future Population Shift: Central and Southern Asia is projected to surpass all other regions in terms of population by the year 2037, becoming the most populous region globally.

India’s Population 

  • India’s Population: According to the UN report, India now boasts a population of 1,428.6 million, surpassing China as the most populous country in the world.
  • Youthful Demographics: A significant 68% of India’s population falls within the 15-64 years age group, and an additional 26% are in the 10-24 years category, rendering India one of the world’s youngest nations.
  • Declining Fertility Rate: India’s fertility rate has exhibited a consistent decline. The National Family Health 5 Survey (2019-21) recorded a Total Fertility Rate of 2.0 for the first time, dropping below the replacement level of 2.1, a notable decrease from the 2.2 rate reported in NFHS 4 (2015-16).
  • Life Expectancy: In India, the life expectancy for men aligns with the global average at 71 years, while women’s life expectancy is marginally lower at 74 years.


  • Age group – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFA) reported the following category of age groups for India and China:
Age groupIndiaChina
0-14 years25%17%
10-19 years18%12%
10-24 years26%18%
15-64 years68%69%
Above 65 years7%14%
  • Life expectancy – China is doing better than India in the context of life expectancy, which in the case of women is 82 and 76 that of men.
  • The figures for India are 74 and 71, according to the report.

United Nations Population Fund Agency (UNFPA)

  • UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.
  • Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
  • The organization was created in 1969.
  • In 2018, UNFPA launched efforts to achieve three transformative results, ambitions that promise to change the world for every man, woman and young person:
    • Ending unmet need for family planning.
    • Ending preventable maternal death.
    • Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.

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