India on Saturday recorded a population of 127,42,39,769 which is growing at a rate of 1.6 per cent a year, and could make the country the most populous in the world by 2050. At 5 pm today, the World Population Day, the number of Indians hit 127,42,39,769, and is 17.25 per cent of the global population, as per Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh or National Population Stabilisation Fund (NPSF), an autonomous body under the Union Health Ministry which has raised concerns about over-population related problems, if the rate persists.
Noting that India’s population was growing at a faster rate than China, which is now the world’s most populous country at around 1.39 billion, an official of the Fund said that the country could become the most populated one by 2050. “If current growth rates continue, India will have 1.63 billion people by 2050 and will surpass China,” the official said.
At a function today, Health Minister J P Nadda stressed on the involvement of development partners and NGOs in assisting government to achieve population stabilisation goals. According to data from NPSF, the total fertility rate (TFR) in India has seen a decline and stood at 2.3 in 2013 although the decline is not consistent.
“Age at marriage has a significant influence on TFR, particularly in countries where chilbearing occurs within marriage. A country where age at marriage is high, fertility is generally observed to be low because of the reduced number of women at risk of childbearing,” the official said. The data suggests that a high percentage of female (21-26 per cent) are married below 18 years of age in states like Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Bihar.
The population of India, at 1.21 billion as per the 2011 Census, is almost equal to the combined population of USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan put together. Also, the population of several states match, and in some cases, exceed that of several large countries. For example, the population of Uttar Pradesh is almost that of Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the world.