Fertility, Mortality and Age Composition Effects of Population Transition in China and India: 1950-2015

Aalok Ranjan Chaurasia


This paper compares the population transition in China and India during 1950-2015 by decomposing population growth into the growth attributed to the changes in fertility and mortality (intrinsic growth), and the growth attributed to the change in population age composition (momentum growth). The analysis reveals similarities and differences in the population transition path followed by the two countries and suggests that India lags behind China by about 30 years in terms of population transition. The population transition in China has been rapid and inconsistent, while India’s population transition has been slow and consistent. The momentum for growth intrinsic to respective populations has been the main contributor to population growth in both countries. The demographic dividend resulting from population transition in India has been substantially smaller than that in China because of differences in population transition paths. Unlike in China, population transition appears to have contributed only marginally to economic growth in India. This paper emphasises the importance of focussing population policy on the relative contribution of different demographic drivers to population growth.


Population transition; China; India; Demographic dividend; Fertility; Mortality; Age composition

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DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.12765/CPoS-2017-12en

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