India to overtake China as world’s most populous country by mid-2023: UN report

Published: April 19,2023 01:06 PM

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India to overtake China as world’s most populous country by mid-2023, suggests UN data

19 April, 2023: India is on its way to become the most populous country in the world, overtaking China with almost three million more people in the middle of this year, Reuters reported citing data by the United Nations on Wednesday. The demographic data from the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) “State of World Population Report, 2023” estimates India’s population at 1,428.6 million or 1.4286 billion against 1.4257 billion for China.

According to the latest data, the United States is a distant third, with an estimated population of 340 million. The data reflects information available as of February 2023. While India is expected to surpass China in terms of population soon, the latest report from the global body did not specify a date for when the change would take place.

As per UN population officials, it was not possible to specify a date due to “uncertainty” about the data coming out of India and China, especially since India’s last census was conducted in 2011 and the next one due in 2021 has been delayed due to the pandemic.


Even as India and China will account for more than one-third of the estimated global population of 8.045 billion, the population growth in both Asian giants has been slowing, at a much faster pace in China than in India. Last year, China’s population fell for the first time in six decades. Meanwhile, India's annual population growth has averaged 1.2 per cent since 2011, compared with 1.7 per cent in the 10 years previously, according to government data.

“The Indian survey findings suggest that population anxieties have seeped into large portions of the general public,” Andrea Wojnar, Representative for UNFPA India, said, as per Reuters. “Yet, population numbers should not trigger anxiety or create alarm. Instead, they should be seen as a symbol of progress, development, and aspirations if individual rights and choices are being upheld,” she said.