Just The Facts

India Vs. China: The Catch-Up Race

Over the second half of the 20th century, China and India’s population increased at roughly the same rate.

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Takeaways


  • During the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, India's population growth has exceeded China's.
  • The world population increased by over 90 million people each year in the late 1980s.
  • In the late 1980s, more than 80% of all births occurred in less developed regions of the world.

1. While the populations of China and India have grown at different rates in the recent past, over the second half of the 20th century as a whole, they increased at roughly the same rate.

2. Between 1950 and 2000, China’s population grew by 726 million, compared to 677 million for India.

3. Over that half century, on average China added only about a million people more than India each year.

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4. During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, China’s population increase exceeded India’s — on average rising by 14 million annually, compared to 10 million for India.

5. Since then, however, India has been catching up rapidly. During the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, India’s growth has exceeded China’s.

6. Over these past decades, India has annually added an average of 17 million people, compared to not quite 12 million for China.

7. At a global level, annual population growth peaked in the late 1980s, with the world population increasing by over 90 million people each year.

8. At that time, more than 80% of all births occurred in less developed regions of the world, while just 3% were in Europe and slightly less than 3% in the United States.

9. Between 2010 and 2015, the world population increased by about 83 million people per year, a level of annual growth almost 12% lower than in 1980. That number is slightly greater than the entire population of Germany.

Data source: 2015 projections by the United Nations Population Division. Data analysis by The Globalist Research Center

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