A giant cola company floored Indian TV audiences with its ‘Youngistan’ advertisement last year and has had me thinking about India’s future on the global stage. The advertisement (‘Youngistan’ being a blend of young and Hindustan, another name for India) essentially focused on the exploits of the present-day younger generation. It’s a well known fact that India has a far greater number of young people than any other nation in the world, and this youth brigade is dominating the job markets as well.
The figures are amazing, and offer an indication of why India would have an edge compared to any other nation in terms of working population in the coming years. India will add 120 million people of working age over the next decade (nearest competitor China, on the other hand, will add only 19 million people in the same period, contributing 5 percent of the global working population). This projection was given by Subir Gokarn, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India at a conference on ‘People, Jobs and Productivity: The ‘Simple’ Dynamics of Inclusive Growth’.
In 2020-30, India will add another 100 million people to the global workforce, while China will actually see a reduction of 62 million in its working age population over the same period.