Impact of Demographic Trends to Indian Economy: an Excerpt

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Impact of Demographic Trends to Indian Economy: An Excerpt

INTRODUCTION
India has made incredible progress with its economy ever since its independence, whereby after the economic tsunami in 2009, it has been frequently quoted as a likely contender of economic superpower even to the extent of overtaking China. This paper serves to understand the importance of demographic trends of India in shaping Indian economy, as well as the part that the unique caste system and religion have to play in the whole picture. Ultimately, the 2020 scenario on the above aspects will be visualized, with opportunities and risks highlighted.

THE RISE OF INDIA’S POPULATION
If one reason were to be quoted as key driver of India’s economy now, it would be demography. India’s population has been undergoing rapid growth since independence in 1947, and now is entering a highly positive stage known as the demographic bulge, which is one of the key ingredients needed of highly successful countries.
According to the Population Research Centre in the Institute of Economic Growth in New Delhi in 2001, India’s population stood at about 350 million at the time of independence in 1947. Belying Malthusian fears, it grew at an unprecedented rate to reach the one billion mark at the dawn of the new millennium. The Census of 2001 has put the population figure provisionally at 1,027 million, even though it registered a significant reduction in the growth rate of population. During the latter half of the twentieth century, India’s population had grown by nearly 650 million.
Also, as quoted from the Indian Government’s Planning Commission in 2002, India is in the process of a demographic transition from high fertility, high mortality and stable population to low fertility, low mortality and stable population. This transition is a global phenomenon generated by the improved availability and access to modern health care that sharply reduced mortality rates and increased life expectancy (Chart 1).

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