India’s Youth Are the World’s Future

Birth rates vary wildly within the country.

Photographer: Ritesh Shukla/NurPhoto/Getty Images

If you’ve ever been to India, it’s likely that you’ve been startled by how young the country looks; the streets of any Indian town, even of its villages, are full of 20-somethings. This isn’t a surprise: India is a very young country. Half of its population is under the age of 25. Two-thirds are less than 35. As a recent Bloomberg News analysis discovered, India is likely to have the world’s largest workforce by 2027, with a billion people aged between 15 and 64.

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Essentially, India’s going through the sort of demographic transition that many other countries have, except on a far larger scale. The generation in its 50s in China today is the one that has lifted the country from poverty to middle-income status; the generation in its 20s in India today — this vast ocean of subcontinental millennials — will have to do the same for India.