Friday, 8 October 2010

Population Wars - India v China

Interesting article on China's population relative to India's.

I have included a number of quotes.

The Battle of the Billionaires: China Vs. India [Globalist]

Together, China and India currently contain nearly two out of every five people in the world — and are equal in size to the world population in 1950.

I like that statistic - together they are equal to the whole world's population in 1950. That puts it in context fantastically. Here is another mind bender:

China’s and India’s demographic size may also be appreciated by noting that each of their populations is larger than those of Africa, Europe or the entire Western hemisphere.

So where do they live:

Also, while most Chinese and Indians still live in rural areas — 55% and 70%, respectively — China will soon become predominately urban, perhaps as early as 2015. In contrast, India is expected to remain mainly rural at least until mid-century.

So what about the future - now we get to fertility. We all know about China's one child policy and its aging population (certainly relative to India). What is remarkable is how high it was in the 1950s at 6 children per woman.

Although fertility levels in the mid-1950s were about the same in the two countries — at six children per woman — fertility rates have declined much faster in China than India, due in part to China’s one-child family policy. Today, China’s fertility is below replacement and one child less than India’s — 1.8 compared to 2.8 children per woman.

So what about the (controversial) gender mix - here China and India share similarities. I detect the raw material for large armies and a future war. Technology means this trend is likely to get worse if anything.

Both China and India have significantly more males than females, in sharp contrast to demographics in most other nations. This atypical gender imbalance is due in part to the use of prenatal ultrasound scanning to abort female fetuses.

So when will the race end?

As a result, India is expected to overtake China as the most populous country in the world in less than two decades, perhaps around 2028.

The question remains whether the world is able to feed the increased number of people given the environmental degradation in both countries. Moreover, China's one child policy may not last the test of time.

The conclusion - will Malthus be proved correct after all of will technology save the day. Climate change, war or a new super virus will probably kick in at some point and reduce populations dramatically.


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