The world's population recently hit 8 billion in November 2022 and among that historic milestone, China and India have at least 1.4 billion each accounting for more than a third of the world's population for the past 70 years.
But India is expected to surpass it's neighbor as experts say China's population is expected to begin shrinking due to a rapid drop in fertility rate.
Already, The United Nations predicts that in 2023, India will surpass China as the world's most populous nation.
In a separate report released on July 11, 2022, also known as World Population Day, the U.N. also said global population growth fell below 1% in 2020 for the first time since 1950.
According to the latest U.N. projections, the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and a peak of around 10.4 billion during the 2080s. It is forecast to remain at that level until 2100.
The report says more than half the projected increase in population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
China’s weak population growth is falling closer to zero as fewer couples have children, government data showed Tuesday, adding to strains on an aging society with a shrinking workforce.
The population rose by 72 million people over the past 10 years to 1.411 billion in 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics announced after a once-a-decade census. It said annual growth averaged 0.53%, down by 0.04% from the previous decade.
Chinese leaders have enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worry the number of working-age people is falling too fast, disrupting efforts to create a prosperous economy. They have eased birth limits, but couples are put off by high costs, cramped housing and job discrimination against mothers.
"Labor resources are still abundant," the statistics agency director, Ning Jizhe, said at a news conference.
The percentage of children in the population edged up compared with 2010, while the share 60 and older rose faster. The pool of potential workers aged 15 to 59 shrank to 894 million, down about 5% from a 2011 peak of 925 million.
Changes in birth limits and other policies "promoted a rebound in the birth population," Ning said. However, he said there were 12 million babies born last year, which would be down 18% from 2019’s report of 14.6 million.
China, along with Thailand and some other developing Asian countries that are aging fast, faces what economists call the challenge of whether it can grow rich before it grows old. Some forecasters warn China faces a "demographic time bomb.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.