India is currently the second most populated country in the world, only behind China. Even so, analysts predict that India’s population is set to overtake China in the near future if its explosion in population growth rate continues as is.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns about the overpopulation issue during his independence speech on 15 August 2019; stating: “Population explosion in India is a big problem for us and our future.” This has actually left many people confused.
Yes, overpopulation is a definite and real problem for India. But leaders and business owners throughout the globe are seeing things differently. Many developed nations are experiencing declining birth-rates and slowing population growths. Nations such as Japan are even experiencing negative population growth; a rather desperate situation.
With major part of the developed nations plunged in aging society, global viewers are curious as to why Modi has not commented on the opportunity that India’s growing population presents.
The US, Japan, the UK, Germany, and even China with the biggest population in the world, are all experiencing shrinking birth-rates and major slowdowns in population growth. All these countries are experiencing a similar phenomenon where the population is ageing, with senior citizens living longer than ever before.
This has resulted in the very real potential danger of a decline in the global working population. As such, India is being presented with the golden opportunity to provide their surging population as a solution to overcome the shortage of able workers.
Nevertheless, given the global setback for working population owing to aging people, India’s population explosion should be read as a celebration, instead of paranoia. India can be the future hub for human capital to the developed nations, who are desperately striving for more working population.
India has the biggest pool for middle age population, who are eligible for working population. India’s fertility rate is highest with 2.4 children per women ,compared to 1.62 children per women in China. The median age for the Indian population is about 26.4, while the media age in China is 38.4. With proper investment and development, India could also become a prime human resource development hub as well.
Japan can be seen as the case point to the necessity of India’s potential workforce. According to Mr Jitsuro Tarashima, Chairman of Japan Research Institute “Japan is moving an aging society at a speed , which no other country has ever experienced or will in the near future”. In 2015, Japan’s population was 127 million, according to Mr. Jitsuro. Today 28 per cent of the Japanese population is above 65 years of age. Within 30 years, this number is expected to reach numbers of around 36 per cent.
Add to this the rather abysmal fertility rate that averages 1.42 children born per woman, and it is now not hard to see the darks days ahead for Japan. Realising the issue, the Japanese government eased visa rules in April 2019. Despite its conservative nature, Japan threw wide the gates, taking a far more liberal stance on immigration compared to other developed nations who choose to open up doors for skilled workers only. India’s workers, the majority of which are reliant on middle-level skill, are thus a perfect fit for Japan’s current crisis.
Liberalising migration for semi-skilled workers will open a new opportunity for Indian workers. Indian workers can pose challenges to other foreign workers at the behest of their cheap workforce. Given the demographic advantage of India, this opens a great window to improve India – Japan economic relations.