New Delhi: India has become the world’s most populous country, overtaking China, data released by the United Nations today showed. According to UN estimates, India’s population is 142.86 crore against China’s 142.57 crore.
This is the first time that India has topped the UN list of most populous countries since it started collecting population data in 1950. The number of people in China shrank last year for the first time since 1960, when millions starved to death under the disastrous agricultural policies of former leader Mao Zedong.
China also faces a looming demographic decline as birth rates plunge and its workforce ages. Several regions have also announced plans to boost birth rates — but official efforts have so far failed to reverse the decline.
India has no recent official data on how many people it has because it has not conducted a census since 2011.
India’s once in a decade census was due to be held in 2021 but was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.