I've just had a whole lotta fun looking at the CIA's country rankings across a truckload of categories (economic / population etc).
Most of the data is up to 2009 (est).
Just for laughs (I wuz bored ) I ran a progression on the population statistics for China & India up to 2020 then 2030 and the results are scary...
2009 Total Population
CHINA - 1,338,612,968 (annual growth rate with 1 child policy currently 0.66%)
INDIA - 1,156,897,766 (annual growth rate with current level of health care etc 1.41%)
10 Year Additional & Total Population at current Growth Rates
CHINA - +100,454,696 (2020 Total pop. = 1,439,067,664)
INDIA - +192,635,494 (2020 Total pop. = 1,349,533,260)
So, by 2020, India is rapidly starting to catch up to China's population. Daring to progress further...
20 Year Additional & Total Population at current Growth Rates
CHINA - +198,304,247 (2030 Total pop. = 1,536,917,215)
INDIA - +395,458,573 (2030 Total pop. = 1,552,356,339)
That's a WHOPPING +593,762,821 extra mouths to feed, cloth & transport by 2030 between these two behemoths alone! According to the progression and based only on current (conservative) growth rates, India overtakes China as the World's Most Populated Country in 2029.
However, China is making louder and louder noises about dropping their "One Child" policy (ostensibly for "economic" reasons eg: counter an ageing population - but I suspect also for strategic / military reasons to counter them being overhauled in population size by their huge, more rapidly growing neighbour, India.)
So, IF China abandons the "One Child" policy, these already alarming figures will get blown right out of the water. Also add in the fact that average age expectancy in India (as well as China) will be rising rapidly over the next 20 years, then BOTH their average annual population growth rates should increase substantially. The sky is the limit then?
Gawd only knows how the planet will cope in 2030 with an extra population equivalent almost to TWO x the population of the USA today from those two countries alone (throw in the rest of Asia and Africa and.....!)
The oft-quoted mantra goes "Populate or perish" - but maybe with the inevitable "who can be the biggest" competition between China & India in the coming two decades, I suspect "Populate AND perish" will start being quoted just a bit more?
So, good luck to those of you who will be holding the fort then. If I'm lucky enough to still be around, I'll prolly be one of the millions of babbling loonies in an Olde Personage Home by then.