I’m just back from a wonderful second visit to India – with its immense financial contradictions and severe social challenges; none more so than its population numbers. Estimates indicate that over 3,000 babies are born in India every hour!
On the teeming sub-continent, India’s already massive population continues to grow. It’s at 1.22 billion people and steadily rising. A Government initiative is designed to cap families at two children per family under the slogan ‘Small family = Happy family’, despite recent Roman Catholic opposition in states like Kerala countering with their own slogan of ‘Large family = Happy family’.
In July 2011, the BBC reported;
‘The good news is that India’s birth rate has dropped by more than half in 35 years – from 5.7 children per woman in the mid-1960s to 2.7 in 2010. Nearly a third of India’s people have lowered their fertility to replacement levels. The bad news is that India is still set to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by 2030’.
This week, the UN Population Fund announced that the world population is about to reach seven billion. Incredible; I remember when I got married (in the late 1970’s) that it then numbered just over 4 billion!
According to a BBC web-based calculator, when I was born in the 1950’s, I was the 2,876,874,081 person alive on Earth and the 76,381,725,732 person to have lived since history began! Not sure quite how these figures are arrived at, but all good fun anyway!