India overtakes China, now world’s most populous nation

India is now the world’s “most populous” nation, data released by the United Nations has revealed.

The country with a population of 1.4286 billion has slightly overtaken China, which has 1.4257 billion people, although China’s numbers did not include Hong Kong and Macau, special administrative regions of China, and Taiwan.

According to the mid-2023 estimates by the UN’s World Population dashboard, India’s population is under 30.

The country will also be the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the coming years.

The burgeoning population would add urgency for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to create employment for the millions of people entering the workforce as the nation moves away from farm jobs.

India’s population growth has outpaced China’s since 1974.

Asia’s third-largest economy is now home to nearly a fifth of humanity — greater than the entire population of Europe or Africa, or the Americas.

“India’s story is a powerful one. It is a story of progress in education, public health, and sanitation, economic development as well as technological advancements,” said Andrea Wojnar, representative of the United Nations Population Fund.

India seized the top spot as it added about 23 million babies in 2022, while China’s population started shrinking for the first time in six decades, with about 9.56 million newborns last year.