Worldhop Journals: People, People Everywhere

People, People Everywhere

India is second to China as the most populated country in the world, and Bombay (now officially in the process of shedding its British colonial name and changing it to Mumbai) is the most populated city of India with nearly 15 million people. Census figures show that India will overtake even China by the year 2040!

It took 10 years to conduct a country-wide census, and another five years just to tabulate the data. The results were released while we were visiting India, showing:

  • At present, India's population is at 95 crores (a crore is an Indian term for 10 million) but will leap to over 126 crores by the year 2116.

  • More than 30 percent of Indian families still have more than four children.

  • Indian women marry between the ages of 17 and 18, giving them plenty of time to bear children. These figures also show that the more education a woman has, the fewer children she has. Illiterate women average 4.4 children, graduates have 2.3. (Many of the women we met were fascinated with Samantha. Although she is only 14, she is tall and mature. How could she NOT have children? Many thought that Cassidy was her child. Many of the women we spoke with on the street had at least two children by the time they were 20, and some had three.)

  • The number of working children is pegged at 11.3 million. And I doubt that these figures take in those who beg or street hustle for a living. It has to be difficult for these large low-income families to feed the many mouths they have created, so child labor is a predictable outcome.

The effects of this crush of people (and animals) were felt by us everywhere in India. It is part of what is so tiring. Nothing can keep up it--not the sanitary facilities, not the electricity, not a clean water supply, not the food, not the transportation system, not the medical care, nor the economy. Unless the brakes can be applied and some kind of balance created, this mad rush of procreation will surely torpedo the future of India.

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