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Monday, 13 July 2020

India's Young Population sets it up for Growth; Demographic Dividend

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐭𝐡 𝐏𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚’𝐬 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐠 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 Demographic Dividend

India 37-year long phase of demographic dividend which shall last till 2055. This period marks one wherein a large majority of the country’s population lies in the working age, thereby creating conditions prime for rapid growth towards a ‘developed nation’ before the country’s population becomes a ‘burden’.


India's Young Population


This is largely a result of improved healthcare as birth rates have slowed, since people no longer have multiple children as ‘investment’ or ‘insurance’ in hopes that at least one will live and take care of the family. Today, the likelihood of survival has increased, thereby reducing the number of children being born.
However, despite 63% of the country’s population lying in the working age bracket, almost half of these people are unemployed; major challenges, such as poor education, continue to hinder our growth prospects.

WHAT DOES DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND MEAN ?

The economic growth potential of a nation due to majority of the population lying in the working age bracket ( 15-64 years ) rather than in the non - working age bracket ( 14 and younger , 65 and older )

62.5 % of India's population is within the age group of 15-59 years ; by 2036 , this figure is set to reach 65 % .

India has one of the youngest populations in the world , with the median age being just 28 ; the median age in the US and China is 37 , it is 45 in Europe and 49 in Japan .

WHY DOES DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND OCCUR ?

It largely happens as the fertility rate drops due to a stabilisation of life expectancies .

Majority of India's population resorted to having multiple children as an ' investment ' , because of high infant mortality rate .

However , improvement in healthcare resulted in lower infant mortality and less children , as the possibility of survival of an infant increased .

With fewer births each year , a country's working - age population grows larger relative to the young dependent population .

ADVANTAGES 

Improved Economic Growth  - Working age population contributes to increase in economic activity through higher consumption , savings and investment .

Increase in women workforce - A fall in fertility rate shall strengthen women's positions in society to one beyond child - bearers , having a positive socio economic impact .

Productive Fiscal Investments - The government can divert resources towards human and physical infrastructure rather than unproductive schemes to sustain a large non - working population .

CHALLENGES 

Informal Economy - The increase in working age population is concentrated in the rural region where population is largely employed in the informal sector . Jobless Growth While roughly 63 of the population lies in the working age bracket , only 53 % of those people are employed .

Poor Human Development Parameters - India ranks 129 out of 189 countries in the HDI index , implying that immense improvement in education and health is required in India .

HOW CAN INDIA CAPITALISE ON ITS DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND ? 

Roughly 10 Million jobs need to be created per year so that the youth can be absorbed in the workforce .

The government needs to focus on ' promoting entrepreneurship ' in order to create greater employment opportunities .

While '75 % of India is literate ' , the reality is grim , with the standards of literacy being far lower than those adequate to contribute to the skilled workforce , or even attain a higher education ; and the quality of education being abysmal .

HOW CAN INDIA CAPITALISE ON ITS DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND ? 

Skill development initiatives need to be undertaken by the government and schools to increase ' employability '.

Labour intensive sectors have their own important role to play in employing the uneducated ; given a large population of this nature , such industries should be promoted and regulated more closely such that benefits flow down to workers equitably .

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