In 2023 it was confirmed by the UN that India had overtaken China as the most populous country in the world. The significance of this lies in the extent to which India can become a global consumption and production base, but also the extent to which other countries, such as SA, with younger populations and high population growth could benefit from this. A similar story is developing in Africa more broadly, as the continent’s population is expected to grow materially over the coming decades, and as such can play a critical role in the global economy.

The first key point relates to population growth trends in developing economies, which indicate that emerging economy populations are growing faster than developed markets in aggregate. Compared with developed markets, the major emerging economies are mostly growing at above the global average population growth. China is the only major emerging economy behaving in a similar way to developed economies, mostly below the global ...

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