India has officially overtaken China as the world’s most populous nation, according to United Nations data released Wednesday.
India’s population surpassed 1.4286 billion, slightly higher than China’s 1.4257 billion people, according to mid-2023 estimates by the UN’s World Population dashboard. China’s numbers do not include Hong Kong and Macau, Special Administrative Regions of China, and Taiwan, the data showed.
The burgeoning population will add urgency for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to create employment for the millions of people entering the workforce as the nation moves away from farm jobs. India, where half the population is under the age of 30, is set to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the coming years.
Asia’s third-largest economy is now home to nearly a fifth of humanity — greater than the entire population of Europe or Africa or the Americas. While this is also true for China for now, that’s expected to change as India’s population is forecast to keep ticking up and touch 1.668 billion by 2050 when China’s population is forecast to contract to about 1.317 billion.