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A Mumbai marketplace ahead of Diwali in October: India is set to surpass China as the most populous country this year.   © Reuters
Asia Insight

Old Japan, young India and the risks of a world of 8bn people

From elder care to jobs and food, Asian nations race to avoid 'catastrophe'

KENTARO IWAMOTO and KIRAN SHARMA, Nikkei staff writers | India

TOKYO/NEW DELHI -- The year 2023 marks a historic turning point for Asia's demography: For the first time in the modern era, India is projected to surpass China as the most populous country.

While the South Asian nation's growing and youthful population spells opportunities for development, it also creates layers of challenges, from poverty reduction to education. Experts say soaring demand for food could affect India's trade with other countries, while the World Bank recently estimated that India will need to invest $840 billion into urban infrastructure over the next 15 years to support its swelling citizenry.

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