(Economic Observer) How do you think China will lose its status as the "most populous country"?

  China News Agency, Beijing, December 28. Question: How do you think China will lose its status as the "most populous country"?

  Author Liu Wenwen

  Recently, a United Nations forecast on population has attracted widespread attention: India's population will surpass China in mid-April next year and become the most populous country in the world.

  How do you view China losing its status as the "most populous country"?

  China vs India

  Both China and India are populous countries. In the past 70 years, the combined population of the two countries accounted for one-third of the world's population.

  Why India's total population will exceed China?

Yuan Xin, a professor at the School of Economics of Nankai University and director of the Nankai University Aging Society Governance Strategy Research Center, told a reporter from China News Agency that this is mainly caused by the difference in fertility between the two countries.

  According to public reports, in the second half of the 20th century, India maintained rapid population growth, with an annual growth rate of 2%.

Since independence in 1947, India's population has grown by more than one billion people and is expected to continue growing for the next 40 years.

  In China, the results of the seventh national census show that China's population is 1,411.78 million, an increase of 5.38% compared with the data of the sixth national census in 2010, and the average annual growth rate is 0.53%.

  "The total population of India will exceed that of China. This is the result of the law of population development, but whether this result can be transformed into economic dividends needs to be analyzed in detail," Yuan Xin said.

  Will India welcome a demographic dividend?

  According to Yuan Xin's analysis, for India, its advantages lie in: First, the larger the population, the larger the potential market.

Second, the number of labor force continues to increase. Although the aging is accelerating, the degree is still low, and the age structure of the population is relatively light, which makes it easy to open a window of opportunity for population based on human resources.

  "However, these potential advantages will not automatically be transformed into GDP, nor can they be transformed into the result of economic development without any correct economic and social decisions," Yuan Xin said. Although India has a potential population advantage, it cannot be ignored. There are many disadvantages, such as the uneven level of educational development, the low level of urbanization, and the large gap between the rich and the poor.

  Liu Zongyi, secretary-general of the China-South Asia Cooperation Research Center of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, previously wrote that whether India can successfully use its potential demographic dividend and turn it into a driving force for economic growth depends fundamentally on whether the Indian government can introduce effective Policies on the economy, society, education, etc., and implement them.

  "For a country like India, where 12 million people reach working age every year, if enough jobs cannot be created, the so-called demographic dividend may become a demographic disaster," Liu Zongyi further pointed out that India's potential demographic dividend has time. window limited.

Indian experts warn that by 2035, the proportion of India's elderly population in the total population will increase significantly, and the population structure will no longer be pyramid-shaped. At that time, the window of demographic dividend will end.

  The "most populous country" is about to change hands. Does China need to worry?

  Population is a key variable affecting long-term economic growth, and the demographic dividend means abundant labor resources and cost advantages.

The "most populous country" is about to change hands. Does China need to worry?

  "Don't worry too much." Liu Zongyi said that the demographic dividend depends not only on the population size, but also on whether a country's policies and related supporting measures can adapt to population replacement and development trends.

China's population base is large enough. If the quality of the population, especially the quality of laborers, can be further effectively improved, as the factors of scientific and technological progress play an important role in economic development, the losses caused by the reduction of China's working population will be overwhelmed by the quality of laborers. increase to make up for it.

  Yuan Xin pointed out that even if China loses its status as the "most populous country" in the future, China still has strong advantages:

  First, under the conditions of relatively decreasing population, China is still a populous country, and can revitalize both domestic and international markets through its own adjustments.

  Second, the size of China's labor force is still huge.

Although the number of labor force is decreasing, the still huge scale allows China to reserve the opportunity to exploit the demographic dividend.

Although China's aging population continues to deepen, the young population (60-69 years old) accounts for more than half of the elderly population, which is conducive to opening a window of opportunity for longevity populations.

  Third, China is transforming from a country rich in human resources to a country rich in human capital.

Human capital is the engine of economic growth, and it is an engine that is more durable and powerful.

In recent years, the average life expectancy of the population has increased, health status has improved, and education has developed by leaps and bounds... These changes have created very good conditions for the improvement of overall human capital.

  "Human resource-based population opportunities still exist, human capital-based population opportunity windows are getting wider and wider, and longevity-type population opportunity windows are gradually expanding, forming demographic conditions that are conducive to economic development in the future." Yuan Xin said.

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