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The people's republic of China has the highest population of any country in the world, with an estimated 1.311 billion people in 2006. The population of India, the second country in the world to exceed a billion people, is not far behind at 1.122 billion. The rates of natural increase for each of these Asian giants, 0.6 percent for China and 1.7 percent for India, indicates that India will surpass China in total population some time around 2040, when both countries will have over 1.45 billion inhabitants. As India continues to gain significantly in population through mid-century, China is predicted to actually decline in population between 2025 and 2050 for several reasons: 1. the continuance of its low rate of natural increase (RNI), 2. ...

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