India's population will overtake China's – what does that mean for the world?

India’s 1.4 billion population will almost certainly bring economic opportunities, but could it set back the country’s growth?

This year, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation. Both countries have more than 1.4 billion people, but where India’s population is relatively young, China’s birth rate is in decline and its population is getting older.

What does it mean for India?

By 2047, 1 in 5 people working in the world will be in India, according to a report from McKinsey & Co. and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

Alok Kshirsagar, the report’s co-author, said India’s digital infrastructure will be central to generating jobs for India’s young population.

“It’s very important that we’re able to use technology to distribute manufacturing services into smaller towns and smaller cities, and not as dependent on the large cities to drive growth,” he said.

How will India’s economy benefit?

Manufacturing remains an important industry for India, especially with companies around the world looking to move production away from China.

The supply chains of companies including Samsung, Apple, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Lenovo are moving — in part at least — to India, said Antara Ghosal Singh, an analyst from Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation.

According to India’s commerce and industry minister, Piyush Gopal, Apple hopes to manufacture 25% of its iPhones in India, up from around 5% currently.

As of 2022, the country has signed 13 regional trade agreements.



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