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Index of the most-active population (aged 20-34) in China, India, Europe and the USA, 1950-2100 (Index: 2010 = 100)

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2011): World Population Prospects, the 2010 Revision. New York. See:
Note: Europe (48) see Glossary

This figure displays changes in the number of people aged 20 to 34 in China, India, Europe and the United States of America - as compared to the number of these most-active people in 2010. The changes are expressed as percentage of their respective 2010 levels.

The most surprising result is the increase in the number of people aged 20 to 34 in the United States of America. As compared to the 2010 level, this number of most-active people in the US is projected to increase by 30 percent between now and the end of the century. By contrast, the number of people in this age group in China will decline by almost 50 percent, as compared to the 2010 level.

One might argue that, contrary to conventional wisdom, China is loosing a significant part of its most productive human resource, while the United States is gaining vital human capital. Perhaps, it is a little too premature to predict the (economic) decline of the United States of America and the global dominance of China.

As compared to the 2010 situation, Europe is actually loosing less of its "most-active" population than China - "only" about 30 percent.

India, on the other hand, will increase its population age 20 to 34 for the next thirty years by a maximum of 18 percent as compared to the 2010 level. After then, the number is projected to decline and by 2100 India is projected to have 18 percent less people age 20 to 34 than in 2010.

Of course, this figure only displays the relative changes in this most active age group for each country or region as compared to 2010. It should be kept in mind that in 2010, China and India had both about 213 million people aged 20 to 34, while Europe had 158 and the United States of America had only 64 million.

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This section was updated on 3 July 2011.

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012