A recent study has suggested that India’s population growth rate is highly overestimated by existing models.
By 2025, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country due to higher fertility rates and a younger population.
According to the study, accounting for the diversity and differences in the levels of education among people can help arrive at more accurate projections.
Since, education level across all of India has increased over time, and is associated with a lower fertility rate, the same projection may predict a drastically smaller population when accounting for education and increasing urbanization.
Combining both effects, the influence of education appears to dominate, resulting in a lower population projection.
To account for the diversity between different areas of India, researchers designed a study based on a five-dimensional model that includes:
Rural or urban place of residence,
Level of education.
Further, accurate population projections could help India and its workforce catch up with more developed Asian countries with higher GDP per capita.
The team of scientists noticed that users of population data in many sectors look at data without considering any differences in behaviors, as if all people would behave like an average person.
The researchers concluded that in addition to age and sex, education should also be routinely included in population forecasts because of its well-established implications for improving the economy and quality of life, while reducing population growth and mortality rates.