The United Nations (UN) estimates that India has become the most populous country in the world, surpassing China. However, this is not followed by the ability of the workforce.
Reporting from atlanticcouncil.org , this happens because China’s growth and its family planning policies have slowed its population growth, even approaching zero in recent times
The latest estimates and projections on global population from the United Nations show that China will soon relinquish its long-held status as the world’s most populous country.
By April 2023, India’s population is expected to reach 1,425,775,850, equaling and then surpassing the population of mainland China.
India’s population will almost certainly continue to grow for decades. In contrast, China’s population peaked recently and experienced a decline in 2022. Projections show that China’s population will continue to decline and could fall below 1 billion before the end of the century.
Reporting from CNBC International , India has the largest population in the world, its labor force participation is only 51%, lagging behind China by 25 percentage points, but Oxford projections reported last week that India’s labor force will remain lower than China’s until the end of the 2040s .
According to the economic advisory firm, India must achieve a participation rate of more than 70% to achieve the same workforce size as China by 2030.
Although most of India’s population is of working age, those aged between 15 and 64 account for only 51% of the country’s workforce, compared with 76% in China.
Women’s employment in India is still much lower than in China.
While China’s female workforce makes up 71%, women make up only 25% of India’s workforce. This figure is even lower than poor countries such as Pakistan (26%) and Bangladesh (40%), according to an Oxford Economics report.
Education & health are still lagging behind
It is not just India’s low labor levels that are causing problems, its workforce productivity is also another challenge.
Oxford Economics attributes this to the lack of adequate standards of education and healthcare in the country.
“India’s average level of human capital, which determines the productivity of its workforce and is determined by a range of education and health outcomes, currently also ranks behind China and most of its regional neighbors,” the report said.
Data from the World Economic Forum shows that India’s literacy rate in 2018 reached 74%, lagging behind China’s 97%.
Although not an alarming figure, the quality of education in this country is still weak.
Disruptions to learning during the pandemic slowed the reading and numeracy skills of many students in rural India, according to a study from non-governmental organization Pratham.
Regarding health standards, life expectancy at birth in India reached 70.9 years in 2019, while in China it was 77.7 years, according to the Oxford report. The report highlights that there are only 7.3 doctors per 10,000 people in India, compared to 23.9 doctors per 10,000 people in China.
Furthermore, education spending currently amounts to just 2.9% of India’s GDP, lagging behind the government’s target of 6% by 2020. And although government spending on healthcare has risen to 2.1% of GDP this year, it is still lower than many other countries.
Source : CNBC