Just a week back or so, our boss posed an intelligent question to all his teammates – what would be the population of India at the end of this century in 2100? The question took all of us by surprise and it started a spate of guesses? From 175 crore to 250, there was not a number that was not conjectured. Most of us couldn’t believe when the actual answer was shared by the questioner ! The answer was it would be lesser than what it was today!
While people googled to find the rationale and logic, today’s Times of India actually has details of study conducted by Lancet. According to the study, India’s population after peaking at 160 crore in 2048 will start shrinking, ending at 109 crore by the end of the century in 2100. China will peak much sooner in 2024 and its population will be 73 crore in 2100. This phenomenon will be repeated for most of the countries resulting in “ jaw dropping” decline in population.
The study further observed that female productivity at 2.1 barely replenishes population and any fall below this leads to decline. Increased life expectancy cannot make up for decline on account of lower female productivity. By 2100, productivity of Indian women is expected to decline to 1.29.
The study further predicts tremendous adverse consequences of declining young working population and corresponding increase in older population above 60 that will be burden on the states.
Isn’t it a big irony and dilemma that today countries are fighting to control the population explosion fearing shortage of food, residences, resources and above all potable water? In future, when population starts declining after reaching the peak, such a scenario will pose challenge of a different kind, as explained above.
Population explosion is a challenge,
Countries are working to control it;
Very soon population will start declining,
Have patience and just wait and watch it.
Lower population will also be challenge,
With fewer youngsters and more oldsters;
What can man do other than to look skywards
For where will he dump these oldsters?
It seems human life is nothing,
But a never ending saga of struggle and problems by tens and hundred;
The man strove to survive in Stone Age ,
And he will face a different challenge on twenty one hundred .
Just to conclude, let’s plead to the divine power that we need no pandemics like Corona to reduce our numbers; as it is we will be considerably reduced by 2100 , but continue to look up to divinity for different reasons.