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India will overtake China as the world’s most populated country next year, according to a United Nations report released this week, CNBC reported.
Released Monday on World Population Day, the report said that both Asian nations were each home to at least 1.4 billion people in 2022 but India’s population will surpass China’s sometime in 2023.
The projections also show that China’s population is expected to decline as early as next year and could drop to 1.3 billion by 2050, according to USA Today.
The milestone underscores how the need for resources will become a pressing point for India to power its large economy. Amid a global energy crisis, the country has increased its usage of coal, reaching “a record high” in coal imports in June.
India and China are the world’s biggest consumers of coal. The two countries pushed for a last-minute change of fossil-fuel language during the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow last year – from a “phase out” of coal to a “phase down.”
Meanwhile, the UN report also noted that the world’s population will reach the eight-billion mark in mid-November “from an estimated 2.5 billion people in 1950.”
It added that the “average fertility” of the planet’s population will decline to 2.1 births per woman across a lifetime by 2050 from nearly five births per woman in 1950.
Last year, that figure was 2.3 births per female.