India will overtake Japan to become the third-largest economy in the world behind USA and China by 2050 and continue to occupy the slot till 2100, according to a study published by medical journal Lancet.
The study made the forecast by constructing GDP models based on the availability of working age population in various countries and by estimating economic and geopolitical effects of the shift in demographics in future.
The study, which took 2017 as the base year when India was the seventh-largest global economy, said the country will become the fourth-largest by 2030, overtaking Germany. Currently, India’s GDP is the fifth biggest ahead of the UK and France.
India had embarked on an ambitious plan to have a $5-trillion economy by 2025. However, that has suffered a major setback due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The study made a forecast of how the working age population aged between 20 and 64 will grow for the 10 largest country in the base year of 2017. It said while India, along with China, will witness a big fall in working age population, the country will continue to have the highest number of people in that age group by 2100.
“By 2100, India was forecasted to still have the largest working-age population in the world, followed by Nigeria, China, and the USA. In our reference scenario, despite fertility rates lower than the replacement level, immigration sustained the US workforce,” it said.
According to Lancet, China will emerge as the biggest economy in 2035. But as its population declines, it will again be overtaken by the USA in 2098, it said.
The study, which looked at fertility, mortality, migration and population scenarios for 195 countries between 2017 and 2100, said global population growth will continue to slow down as more and more women get access to education and contraception.
“A sustained TFR (total fertility rate) lower than the replacement level in many countries, including China and India, would have economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical consequences. Policy options to adapt to continued low fertility, while sustaining and enhancing female reproductive health, will be crucial in the years to come,” it said.