Part 2: Population Pyramid: Where India Stands

In an earlier article, we had learnt about Population pyramids:

Today, lets look at few instances of population pyramids and decipher the “hidden messages” within them. As we had learnt from the population pyramid theory (the above mentioned link), there are different types of pyramids i.e Expanding, Stationary & Contracting.

This following short video clip by TED explains the different types of pyramids using examples and shows how population pyramids are powerful predictors of future


Applying those learnings here, we see that India’s pyramid is of the Expanding type, while China is Contracting, US appears Stationary and Italy is seriously contracting!!


This is a rare picture/graph because we dont see such stuff on TV and neither did we study these in schools. This is informative because of so much of statistics jampacked in so little space. But what can we infer from these? Lets go a little more deeper by first comparing India & China.


Although India & China are the most populated countries, we notice that Indian Pyramid has a strong base, with more youngsters, well balanced, smooth pyramid. Whereas China seems more imbalanced by the day due to their stringent policies of population control which will one day lead to the stage where there would be more senior citizens than youngsters & working population (In the earlier entry, we had seen that such a thing can cause economic imbalance).

The following image shows how population pyramids of India & China would look like in 2040.


India would have a uniform age distribution & a smooth, symmetric pyramid in 2040 as shown in above image whereas China’s would be uneven, with more senior citizens than that of youngsters.

Population pyramids not only indicate the economic prospects as discussed above but can shed some light on gender ratio as well which affects marital outcomes which further affects population growth in future. For example, the following asymmetric and haphazard population pyramids suggests the grave problems that might affect the respective countries.


The following analysis by MIT explains how asymmetric gender ratios can have far reaching socio-economic consequences:

Whereas in the case of Japan & European countries, they would be facing shortage of youngsters!! The following image depicts the population pyramids of Japan and few European countries. Notice the bulge on the top and tapering at bottom which suggests that there are more old senior citizens than youngsters.


It will be a great chance for India to seize such an opportunity because going forward, a country’s greatest asset would be its population (Whereas population was perceived as a burden during 1970s). Cost factors had tempted US to outsource most of their Knowledge based jobs to India over the last 2 decades. In future, lack of sufficient workforce will force the European countries to outsource most of their jobs and India being a “tried & tested” model in this business of outsourcing stands to gain the most.

India would benefit not only due to outsourcing but also due to expansion plans of Indian companies. For example, a young & promising Indian company called Micromax has already made inroads into Russia & is planning to capture Europe over the next few years.


As we see, India is on a potential goldmine. Creating such a population pyramid takes great planning & decades of patience but in the case of India it is “somehow” already in place. The dwindling workforce (and thereby talent crunch) of European countries adds further to India’s advantage and might help Indian homegrown companies in the long run.

However, just having a good population pyramid is not sufficient. India needs good governance, education, skill development & an able leader at the helm who can guide the youth in the right direction.



Surprisingly, this was not a concern for Indian politicians, but has now fortunately been prioritized by a new leader who has broken the shackles of vote bank politics & populist measures, and instead has chosen to focus on building India as a “Skilled Nation” which had struck the chord of youth who went out in droves to bring them to power:

Wishing all the best for the new PM to chalk out his plans to channelize youth power into development of a “Skilled Nation”. 

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