China and India Demographic Paths Essay

2445 Words Oct 19th, 2013 10 Pages
Research Brief

N AT I O N A L D E F E N S E R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U TE

China and India
The Asian Giants Are Heading Down Different Demographic Paths
RAND ReseARch AReAs ChiLDREN AND FAMiLiES EDUCAtiON AND thE ARtS ENERgy AND ENviRONMENt hEALth AND hEALth CARE iNFRAStRUCtURE AND tRANSPORtAtiON iNtERNAtiONAL AFFAiRS LAW AND BUSiNESS NAtiONAL SECURity POPULAtiON AND AgiNg PUBLiC SAFEty SCiENCE AND tEChNOLOgy tERRORiSM AND hOMELAND SECURity

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hina and India, the world’s most populous nations, have much in common: Each has more than 1 billion residents; each has sustained an annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate over the past decade that is among the world’s highest—9 percent for China and 7 percent for India; and
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Contrasting Demographic Trajectories

Two differences between China’s and India’s demographic paths bear most directly on each country’s future prospects: trends in population growth and changes in population age distribution. this product is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of published, peer-reviewed documents.

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India’s Population Is Growing More Rapidly Than China’s India’s population is currently smaller than China’s, but its current rate of population growth (1.55 percent annually) is more than double China’s (0.66 percent). In 2025, India’s total population is projected to equal China’s (about 1.4 billion in each country) and to surpass China’s thereafter, making India the world’s most populous nation. India’s population is expected to continue increasing through at least 2050, whereas China’s is expected to peak at about 1.4 billion in 2026 and to decline thereafter (Figure 1). These contrasting growth rates are driven primarily by differences in fertility. China’s fertility rate has been lower than India’s for many years, in part because of China’s One-Child Policy. In

2010, the total fertility rate in India was estimated at 2.65 children per woman, compared with 1.54 in China. This difference means that, on

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