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India tops world’s countries in population; yet has a wide age gap in sex ratio

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The United Nations recently reported that India has overtaken China as the world’s most populous nation, with a population of 1.428 billion, compared to China’s 1.426 billion. According to the State of World Population Report 2023 by UNFPA, almost half of India’s population is below the age of 25 years. The report also highlights that 25% of India’s population is aged 0-14 years, while 18% are in the 10 to 19 age group, and 26% are in the 10 to 24 years age group.

Despite India’s growing population, the sex ratio remains a concern, with women accounting for only 48% of the population. According to recent data, for every 1,000 men in India, there are 1,020 women. Although this is an improvement, the sex ratio at birth is still lower than expected. The Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation reports that the sex ratio at birth rose from 904 in 2017-19 to 907 in 2018-20.

Statista.com reports that Hong Kong has the highest share of women in the world at 54.21%, followed by Curacao, Nepal, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, El Salvador, Armenia, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Estonia, Virgin Islands, Hungary, Georgia, Zimbabwe, Moldova, and Sri Lanka.

According to a report by Women and Men in India 2022, India’s sex ratio is expected to improve significantly by 2036, from 943 in 2011 to 952. The report suggests that this improvement could be due to the government’s efforts to improve the status of women in society, such as the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme and the implementation of stricter laws against gender discrimination and violence against women.


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