What will the global population look like in 15 years? The US Census Bureau released a study yesterday that suggests China's vast population will peak in 6 years, and India's population will surpass its size within 15 years.
According to the New York Times:
[The] projected peak in China, 1.4 billion people, will be lower than previously estimated and . . . it will occur sooner. With the fertility rate declining to fewer than 1.6 births per woman in this decade from 2.2 in 1990, China's overall population growth rate has slowed to 0.5 percent annually.
In contrast, India's 1.4 percent growth rate is being driven by a fertility rate of 2.7 births per woman.
The bureau's International Data Base projects that China's labor force will peak at 831 million - 24 million more workers than today - in 2016. That is because the number of newcomers to the labor force in their early 20s is expected to start declining in 2011 after reaching 124 million.
In India, the number of new entrants to the labor force is expected to reach 116 million in 2024 before decreasing.
According to the same report, the world's population is growing, but its rate of growth is about to enter a steep decline. It may be that we will witness the world's peak human population in our lifetimes.
Top image via Premshree Pillai.