India will overtake China this year to become the world’s most populous country.
The likelihood of India passing that major milestone within a few months shot up Tuesday, when China reported that its population shrank in 2022 for the first time in more than 60 years.
This shift will have significant economic implications for both Asian giants, which have more than 1.4 billion residents each.
Along with the population data, China also reported one of its worst economic growth numbers in nearly half a century, underscoring the steep challenges the country faces as its labor force shrinks and the ranks of the retired swell.
For India, what economists and analysts call the “demographic dividend” could continue to support rapid growth as the number of healthy workers increases.
There are fears the country might miss out, however. That’s because India is simply not creating employment opportunities for the millions of young job seekers already entering the workforce every year.