A couple of weeks back I made a 200-minute presentation on the political, economic, and military rise of China and what it means for the world in general and the United States and India in particular.
During the talk, as some readers would recall I talked at length about the demographic makeups in both China and India and how India may trump the Middle Kingdom in the growth stakes because of its demographic advantage.
In his New York Times piece titled India vs China vs Egypt, Thomas L. Friedman writes that:
"Of these three, the one that will thrive the most in the 21st century will be the one that is most successful at converting its youth bulge into a “demographic dividend” that keeps paying off every decade, as opposed to a “demographic bomb” that keeps going off every decade. That will be the society that provides more of its youth with the education, jobs and voice they seek to realize their full potential."Mr Friedman stresses a great deal on the role good governance can play in this transformation.
“India today has 560 million young people under the age of 25 and 225 million between the ages of 10 and 19,” explained Shashi Tharoor, India’s minister of state for human resource development. “So for the next 40 years we should have a youthful working-age population” at a time when China and the broad industrialized world is aging. According to Tharoor, the average age in China today is around 38, whereas in India it’s around 28. In 20 years, that gap will be much larger. So this could be a huge demographic dividend — “provided that we can educate our youth — offering vocational training to some and university to others to equip them to take advantage of what the 21st-century global economy offers,” said Tharoor. “If we get it right, India becomes the workhorse of the world. If we get it wrong, there is nothing worse than unemployable, frustrated” youth."Read the whole piece here.