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Is Overpopulation a Threat to India's Development ?

India's population is projected to surpass 1.5 Billion people by 2030. As a result India should surpass China to become the most populated country in the world. And of course this rapid population growth will put a huge pressure on its resources. That said, we should stress that the rise in young population is a positive fact but on the opposite the rise of an ageing population can lead to an unsustainable scenario. We must also point out that in many countries across the world fertility is declining. And let's add that two thirds of the world population live in countries that have a below total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 which is the zero-growth fertility rate. By 2050, the UN projection shows only 8 countries - the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania - will account for 50 per cent of the population growth. In India, government data shows that 23 States and Union Territories had TFRs below replacement level. "India is set to witness a sharp slowdown in population growth in the next two decades" analyzed the Economic Survey. And some States will start transitioning to an ageing society by the 2030s. Therefore it must be emphasized that for many observers, India's real challenge will be that of the ageing of its population and not that of overpopulation with economic consequences that are still difficult to identify.

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