This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Can India Catch Up With China?

India is about to overtake China in terms of sheer population size, but it lags behind China with respect to overall levels of living, as I have noted before. Reuters has been publishing an opinion series on India and the most recent post touches on India's demography. The article begins by suggesting that as India grows to 1.7 billion while China remains at 1.3 billion, and while India's population  continues to swell at the younger ages while China's continues to age--the opportunities will exist for India's economy to take off and close the gap with China. I read that part with some alarm, but then the authors come around and see the tremendous challenges imposed by this unprecedentedly large population in India. Can even the current level of living in India be sustained as 400 million more people are added, much less trying to reach higher levels of well-being than currently prevail? If you've read my book, you know my opinion, which is: No--it just seems impossible to imagine that we have enough resources on the planet for the 1.7 billion Indians to live at a significantly higher level of living than prevails today. Something has to give.

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