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World Population Day: Uttar Pradesh Alone Can Beat FIFA Semi Finalists But Not in Football

The smallest country in the set, Belgium’s population of 1.13 crore people seems laughably miniscule as compared to India. In fact, even Mumbai has a population of 1.87 crore.

Rakhi Bose |

Updated:July 11, 2018, 4:08 PM IST
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World Population Day: Uttar Pradesh Alone Can Beat FIFA Semi Finalists But Not in Football
England players celebrate after posting a thrilling 2-1 win over Tunisia in Group G encounter. (File photo: FIFA.com)
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For those wondering what most countries competing in the FIFA World Cup 2018 have that India doesn’t, the more pertinent question may be to ask what they lack – India’s population.

The theme of this year’s World Population Day is ‘Family Planning is a Human Right’. But India, which adopted family planning way back in the 1960s, still lags far behind the global standard in terms of population growth and control.

In fact, all four nations playing the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals have populations smaller than those of most Indian states.

Don’t believe it? Here’s a reality check

France

With 6.69 crore people, France boasts of the highest population among the WC semi-finalists. Eight Indian States have a population more than that of France including West Bengal (9.3 crore), Bihar (10.8 crore) and Karnataka.

England

England, at 5.1 crore people, is the second largest country in the semis. But the country loses out to Gujarat which has a population of 6.3 crore people.

Croatia

Croatia with 41.7 lakh people, has a population less than Nagaland and Manipur put together. Its population is even tinier than the Himachal Pradesh’s, which is 21st on the list of Indian States and has a population of 68.6 lakh people

Belgium

The smallest country in the set, Belgium’s population of 1.13 crore people seems laughably miniscule as compared to India. In fact, even Mumbai has a population of 1.87 crore.

If that weren’t enough, here’s another nugget of trivia on India’s dismal condition as opposed to the four semi-finalists.

The combined population of all the countries is lesser than that of Uttar Pradesh, the largest Indian state with a population of over 20 crore people.

Many wonder why India never makes it to the FIFA World Cup. But a quick look at the analysis reveals the discrepancies between participating nations in terms of the gap between their populations and available resources.

In 2016, India’s total fertility rate (TFR - the number of children born per woman) is 2.2. Even though the number is less than what it was in 2006 (2.7), the number is still exorbitantly high. The total population in the same year was 132.42 crores. Though India occupies just 2.4 percent of land on Earth, its population accounts for one fifth of the world’s people.

According to a study published in 2017 in the medical journal Lancet, several Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya have severe need for better family planning. But in reality most states in India have populations larger than that of several countries.

With a projected growth rate of over 30 percent, India is expected to overtake China’s population and become the most crowded country in the world by 2022.

It's already 2018 and whether India has the space to accommodate the increase is probably a question worthy of concern.

(with inputs from Rupsha Bhadra)
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