Estimating India’s population

Researchers find that education levels are an important factor in projecting a country’s population

Sometime in 2017, the UN released projections on India’s population. It said that the population would peak at around 1.675 billion people in the 2056-2066 period, and then decline slowly. However, these projections may have been at the lower end as they considered India to be a heterogeneous entity rather than a union of disparate States. In a different study, researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Asian Demographic Research Institute used five key dimensions of population growth. It was published recently in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. The UN’s Population Division had arrived at its figure by factoring in age, sex and fertility rates. This, however, hid the State-wise differences — States such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which have higher fertility rates, will grow much faster than, say, a lower fertility rate State like Kerala.

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