Report from India
As some of you may know, we travel to India once a year for my wife’s specialized medical treatment. India is changing, growing and quickly becoming a very strong worldwide economic power. I researched information that might help you see how India compares to the United States.
- The current population of India is estimated at 1,361,535,342, based on the latest United Nations estimates. India’s population represents 17.74% of the total world population.
- As compared to the current population of China at 1,417,597,567, which is equivalent to 18.41% of the total world population.
- The current population of the United States is 327,954,399, which is equivalent to 4.27% of the total world population.
While the U.S. is the world’s third largest country by population, it is small when compared to the population of India and China.
GDP as a gauge of economic growth
According to the December 15, 2018 issue of Economist Magazine, Gross Domestic Product % growth from a year ago was estimated as follows (for 2018):
You can see that the Indian economy is very strong. More importantly, India is rapidly transforming itself from a bottom-tier international market to becoming a truly middle-income country in the next 12 years.
By 2030 India will probably add close to 140 million middle income jobs and an additional 30 million high income households, according to Bain & Company. The number of upper income households will more than double to 168 Million or 44% of the total households in the country. This means more cars and less motorcycles, more homes for families and fewer multigeneration households. (Indian Times, Business section, Middle Class to Boost Premium Biz, January 1, 2019)
In the United States the numbers on average look like this:
About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2016, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. In percentage terms, 52% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households.
How does the affect us?
At face value this does not affect the United States at all, except that India should continue to become a larger trading partner. There is more opportunity for growth in all sectors of the Indian economy, from consumer goods to real estate, from e-business to airplanes, from plastic surgery to the sale of make-up and skin products. This creates opportunity for U.S. investment and diversification in India as we cope with slowing immigration, population and economy at home.
The other upside is that Indians speak many languages including English. This makes it easier to have Indian trading partners. As the Indian economy keeps developing, Indians are becoming more sophisticated as reflected in their goal to send three astronauts into space by 2022. This will continue to drive their technical innovation and create more competition for the U.S. economy.
Bear in mind that Indians work 6 days a week and their children go to school 6 days a week.
Not only has Hollywood has set a living standard for Indians they want to aspire to, their families are focused on not being poor and are pushing their children hard. There is demand for Indian labor in the gulf and all over the world. Not only do expatriate Indians bring home money, but also western living expectations. That is driving the Indian’s to compete.
The United States has always looked to China and Russia first, as competitors; but needs to realign its sights to include India as well or work hard at keeping India in the fold as a key strategic partner.
The India of old is vanishing. Colorful saris are beautiful, but western garb is taking its place. Economic growth is occurring and in a big way in India. We need to be aware of these changes and figure out how to get involved or be left behind. The Indians are focused on constant innovation. Ever wonder why Satya Nadella and Sudar Picnchai ended up leading Microsoft and Google respectively? It did not happen by accident.