U.N.: India to Supplant China as World’s Most Populous Country this Year

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA - 2021/07/11: A nurse carries a newly-born baby inside a ward on the occasion of World Population Day at Government Children's Hospital in Chennai. (Photo by Anantha Krishnan/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Anantha Krishnan/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The United Nations (U.N.) predicted on Monday that the world’s population, currently 7.942 billion, will grow to eight billion by November 15, with India expected to overtake China as the globe’s most populous nation by 2023.

“The world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022,” the U.N. wrote in a report published on July 11 titled “World Population Prospects 2022.”

The U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, issues such a report each year on July 11 to coincide with “World Population Day.”

“India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country during 2023,” according to this year’s analysis.

Detailing China and India’s prominence as the two most populous countries in the world currently, the report stated:

In 2022, the two most populous regions were both in Asia: Eastern and South-Eastern Asia with 2.3 billion people (29 per cent of the global population), and Central and Southern Asia with 2.1 billion (26 per cent). China and India accounted for the largest populations in these regions, with more than 1.4 billion each in 2022.

John Wilmoth, who serves as the director of the Population Division of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, told reporters Monday that India’s chances of gaining permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council will likely increase should its population become the world’s largest by next year, as predicted.

“What is the significance of being the largest population in the world? I think you have certain claims on things. I wonder what will happen in terms of the discussion around … roles at the UN and the roles of the permanent five members of the Security Council,” the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Wilmoth as saying during a press conference on July 11.

“If India becomes the largest country, they may think that that gives them a claim that they should be part of … they’ve been claiming that they should be part of that group (permanent member of the Security Council) anyway. But, you know, it may strengthen their claim,” he stated.

“India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Security Council saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century,” PTI noted on Tuesday.

The U.N. Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, which is an intergovernmental organization. The body’s responsibilities include making decisions that impact international security, such as authorizing military action. The U.N. Security Council consists of 15 member states (five permanent and ten elected). China, Russia, France, Britain, and the U.S. comprise the council’s current permanent members, which hold veto power within the body.

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