They say the more the merrier but that’s not always true is it our world today has become home to 8 billion people 8 billion that is eight with nine zeros in fact the 8 billionth baby was born earlier this morning in Manila Philippines her name is Baby Venice now if you have been following the news you must have noticed that the world is going Gango on the story 8 billion how did we reach here the speed at which this happened and above all what it means for all of us there is a lot of conversation around India as well the country is expected to become the world’s most populous by 2023. some believe this is good news because it puts India in a position to reap its demographic dividend but just how logical is this argument that is the question we try and answer tonight and we begin with the basics the number 8 billion how did we get here look at this table in 1805 the world had just one billion people we became 2 billion strong in 1925 we hit the 4 billion Mark in 1975. and there’s been no looking back ever since in October 2011 the world Hit the 7 billion milestone and here we are 8 billion on the 15th of November 2022. it took us just 11 years to add 1 billion to the global population and that is the fastest ever now that we have hit this Milestone how should we react what does 8 billion fellow earthlings mean for you and the world well that depends on whether you see the glass half empty or full the Optimus pointing at increased levels of life expectancy standing at 72.8 years an increase of almost 9 years since 1990. so a growing population is a sign of Better Health Care.
They say sure but that is just the Crux growing population also has a host of other implications like the elephant in the room the environment for as long as I can remember we have been linking pollution or climate change to population more the population more the pollution or so we were told but not everyone agrees with this one school of thought believes what matters for the environment or what damages the environment is the consumption not the number of people just for context here Africa has 16.7 percent of the world’s population but it accounts for only three percent of the total carbon emissions the U.S on the other hand has 4.5 percent of the world’s population but it emits 21.5 percent of the world’s carbon so you get the point here if the 8 billion people opt for green energy then the growing population may not be a big problem for the environment but what about resources they are limited from the natural resources under the Earth’s surface to facilities like housing roads schools hospitals there is only so much space that our cities have only so many houses that they can accommodate a lot of our cities in fact are already stretched to the Limit a rising population adds to this crisis it means adding to Poverty adding to hunger joblessness can the world afford any of this can our cities and countries afford this over the next 25 years eight countries will contribute to half of the global population increase Democratic Republic of the Congo Egypt Ethiopia India Nigeria Pakistan the Philippines and Tanzania now India makes fall an interesting case study here one because it is being called the largest contributor to this 8 billion mark you may have noticed how every population story today is using photographs or videos from India like this photo of Diwali Eve or numerous shots of crowded Indian Streets the chatter is India will benefit from the growing population but the question is how numerous articles are being written on this issue the common answer being demographic dividend now what is that it refers to the potential that a growing population invariably means a growing economy how because more the people more the number of Working Hands India has almost 1.4 billion people it is expected to become the world’s most populous country in 2023 surpassing China as of 2021 68 of India’s population was between 15 and 64 years old China on the other hand has the world’s fastest growing population by 2040 28 of Chinese population will be 60 years or older and these numbers show that in the coming years India will have more Working Hands than China it looks like a dream demographic dividend situation and what’s more the demographic dividend occurs when the ratio of the working age population is higher than the population of those who are dependent you know like the elderly or the children and here too India ticks the Box India entered the demographic dividend opportunity window in 2005 and it will remain in that window till about 2055. but can numbers alone do the magic you see demographic dividend does not happen automatically sure India has a young population but is this population in a position to meaningfully contribute to the economy can every Indian out there add value to the economy let me show you some numbers here between 2011 and 2017 India’s working age population grew by 115.5 million but the labor force grew only by 7.7 million this is according to the state of working in their report it goes on to say that between 2011 and 2017 the workforce actually shrank by 11.3 million to reap the demographic dividend you need a skilled Workforce 26 percent of China’s Workforce has vocational training what about India less than five percent so young Indians are not skilled for the field or the factories what about the future the future is digital to meaningfully contribute to India’s future its population must have digital skills but here too India is lagging behind a survey by a tech giant has found that 27.3 million people in India need digital training immediately the future is digital and India has a lot of catching up to do. Have a look at this UNICEF report. It says 47 of Indian youth will not have the skills needed to be employable by 2030. this is not what demographic dividend is supposed to look like is it and then there are other problems endemic to India not every young Indian is allowed to work in 2017 India’s female labor force participation stood at 28.5 percent and what about men 82 percent this discrimination can destroy the demographic dividend here’s another challenge that’s Healthcare India needs a Workforce that is fit enough to work 57 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are anemic half of Indian adolescents are thin short overweight or obese what does that tell you currently India is not in a position to reap the demographic dividend but that does not mean it cannot change for the better in the future like I mentioned before for India the demographic dividend window closes around 2055. and India still has time to make the most of this opportunity India will have its highest working age ratio between 2021 and 2041 the peak will come in 2031 and that is still nine years away so there is time for India to make the most of its growing population for that the Country Must upskill its population ensure that everyone goes to school gets proper Health Care India must ensure that there are enough jobs in the country and enough skilled labor to fill up the positions only then can India maximize its demographic dividend we are now available in your country.
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