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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Strategic CSR - Population

I wanted to draw your attention to the article in the url below just because it seems like a pretty big deal:

"China has been the world's most populous country for hundreds of years. In 1750 it had an estimated 225m people, more than a quarter of the world's total. India, not then a politically unified country, had roughly 200m, which ranked it second. In 2023 it will seize the crown. The UN guesses that India's population will surpass that of China on April 14th. India's population on the following day is projected to be 1,425,775,850."

I had long ago heard that India's population would one day overtake China's, but I guess I did not expect it to happen right now. What is important about this point in time, though, is what the shift signals:

"The crown itself has little value, but it is a signal of things that matter. That India does not have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council while China does will come to seem more anomalous. Although China's economy is nearly six times larger, India's growing population will help it catch up. India is expected to provide more than a sixth of the increase of the world's population of working age (15-64) between now and 2050."

It is also interesting that China's population has been calculated to have peaked, while India's still has a way to go, as depicted in the charts accompanying the article:

Given that a country's population is generally negatively correlated with its level of economic development – higher wealth and participation of women in the workforce leads to declining birth rates (India's economy is still growing and projected to be the world's third largest "by 2029," but it's per capita GDP remains low), and given that India clearly still has room left to run, this will have all kinds of implications for resource utilization and, in particular, energy use (given that both countries still rely on fossil fuels, coal in particular, to produce their energy).

Take care

David Chandler
© Sage Publications, 2023

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