Demographics in India: “We have naive assumptions”

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With India poised to become the world’s most populous country, no one knows exactly how many people live there

  • Author, Ricardo Senra
  • Role, World Population Correspondent
  • Twitter,

An unprecedented blackout of official Indian government data is preventing United Nations demographers from announcing with certainty when the country will overtake China as home to the world’s largest population.

This demographic milestone for India was scheduled to be announced on April 14, 2023, but as the world waited for confirmation last Friday, no official statement was made.

In an interview with the BBC, Patrick Gerland, head of the United Nations’ Department of Population Estimates and Projections, said the figures about India’s true population size were “naive assumptions based on fragmentary information.”

“We have no real official data from India,” says the UN expert.