New Delhi :
If there is one thing India is ahead of every country in the world – it is the growth of population. The United Nations had predicted the country will surpass China to become the world’s most populous country in the 21st century. And we are moving forward as predicted as the data compiled by the UN claims that the country is likely to produce the highest number of babies on New Year’s Day. According to a UN estimate, as many as 69,944 babies will be born in India on the New Year’s Day. This number is 18 per cent of the total baby births taking place globally.
With 44,940 and 25,685 babies, China and Nigeria will be the second and third country with the highest number of baby births after India. With 15,112 babies, Pakistan has been placed fourth in the list followed by Indonesia (13,256 babies), The United States of America (1,086 babies), The Democratic Republic of Congo (10,053 babies) and Bangladesh (8,428 babies).
"This New Year Day, let's all make a resolution to fulfil every right of every girl and boy, starting with the right to survive," Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative said. She added that to ensure that every newborn is born in safe hands, the country needs to invest in training and equipping local health workers.
At present, with nearly 1.3 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world, after China. However, as per a UN estimate, India's population will surpass China by 2024. Researchers believe that India's relatively young median age 27 years as compared to China's 38 also contributes to its rapid population growth.
"The median age in India is 27 years, compared to 38 years for China. Children under age 18 account for one-third of India's population as compared with one-fifth of China's," the University stated in its report titled "India's Population: Becoming Number One".
However, India still lags behind in China in life expectancy and mortality rate despite notable progress. "Life expectancy at birth increased from 44 years in the mid-1960s to 68 years today. India's child mortality rate at 38 per 1,000 births still lags behind China's rate of 11," the report further added.