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    An Introduction to Development Economics

    Answer all three questions each of which carries 5 marks. Bring a maximum of two pages of notes into class but do not reproduce notes in your answer. You may also bring tables and charts but you will need to describe their content in your answers. Leave notes etc in your answer book. Write in ink not pencil.


    1.Discuss recent trends in population growth and structure in the two countries, explaining where they might be in the demographic transition. How are their population futures likely to compare over the next 20 years?

    1. Highlight and comment on the major trends in the rate of poverty and the level and structure of inequality and in their HDIs?
    2. Compare the growth paths of the two countries and the problems they face going forward.

    Possible Sources.


    China Population 2018


    India Population 2018



    Poverty and Inequality

    Poverty and Equity brief, World Bank, October, 2018.












    Economic Development

    A comparison of economic development in China and India




    Michael Ivanovitch, 2018. China and India are trying to write a new page of the world economy



    Dr Sana Naseem, 2017, Economies of Two Asian Giants India and China: A Comparative Study,

    International Journal of Business and Social Science, Volume 8 • Number 9, Septemberhttps://ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_8_No_9_September_2017/5.pdf



Subject Economics Pages 8 Style APA


An assessment on trends in population growth and structure between India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) reveals significant impacts in the world’s economy. The two countries are of great concern in regard to the extent to which their future population trends might impact their economies. According to population data released by Chinese government in early 2013, China’s population was at 1, 354,040, 000. By September the same year, the population had risen to 1,360,720,000 (worldpopulationreview.com). Nevertheless, a report released by United Nations (UN) on global population trends indicates that China’s population currently stands at 1.42 billion making it the most populous country in the world. Provincial level statistics indicate show the presence of high dependency ratio especially in economically inferior regions. However, due to the one-child policy which has been currently adjusted to two child policy, the country is experiencing a decline in total fertility rate which is likely to translate into a significant demographic transition. Besides, the World Bank projects that, China’s total population size is facing a downturn pressure towards 2030.

India’s population on the other hand, is estimated at 1.35 billion according to the UN report. This makes it the world’s second most populous country (worldpopulationreview.com). However, according to a report released by the UN regarding global population trends, India is projected to overtake china and become the world’s most populous nation by the year 2022. Besides, the report projects that India is likely to undergo a rapid population growth by the year 2050 due to its present yearly growth rate of 1.11 percent. Nevertheless, the Republic of India has been undergoing a demographic transition from high death rate to a relatively low death rate since 1950s.   However, birth rate remains high making it potential for a high population growth.


In evaluating major trends in regard to poverty and inequality levels as well as Human Development Index (HDI) between China and India, it is established that China for decades now have experienced a significant reduction in poverty.  This is according to the international poverty line standard of $1.90/day for the low class, $3.20/day for lower middle income class and $5.50/day for upper middle income class. According to the World Bank Report, China’s low poverty rates is attributed to its yearly economic growth of above 6 percent. The implications for this growth include shared prosperity. According to Tubilewicz (2016), China’s economic growth has resulted into fast welfare gains to all members of the society as revealed by household consumption. Similarly, there is evidence of falling income inequality as measured by the Gini index. The income inequality declines from 49.1 in the year 2008 to 46.2 in 2015. According to World Bank, income inequality manifest between rural and urban areas since education attainment is low in rural areas compared to urban centers.  According to the UN report, China’s HDI value has increased from 0.502 in 1990 to 0.752 in 2017. This places the country in the high human development category. Besides, the nation’s life expectancy at birth has risen by 7.1 years with the mean years for schooling increasing by 3.0.

In India, poverty levels remain widespread. According to 2015 report released by the World Bank, more than 176 Indians are living in extreme poverty. India’s Gini coefficient – used in measuring a country’s income distribution – has risen from 45 in 1990 to 51.4 in 2016 (worldbank.org).   This depicts a rising gap between the rich and the poor. Nevertheless, India in the recent past has made a remarkable progress in regard to eradicating absolute poverty. The recent trends in construction sector coupled with rural wages have acted as a major source of employment among India’s poorest households. Presently, India ranks 130 in the UN’s HDI with an HDI value of 0.640 from 0.427 in 1990.


            A comparison of economic growth paths between China and India shows that China has currently established itself as a market economy. In 2010, China surpassed Japan in regard to gross production to become the largest exporter of essential goods. Besides, in 2015, China made history by establishing itself as the world’s largest economy surpassing the United States (Zadro, Hux, & Fu 2017) Nonetheless, Chinese resident’s per capita income continue to lag behind. According to the scholars, the government of People’s Republic China is faced with challenges related to the ways of reducing environmental pollution, dealing with corruption among government officials, and increasing job opportunities so as to promote hiring of newly graduated students. To effectively tackle these problems, the government has embarked on carrying out numerous economic reforms that aim at promoting innovation and domestic consumption to make the nation less dependent on heavy industry and fixed investments.

Indian economy has been growing slowly since early 90s. According to Zadro, Hux, & Fu 2017 the growth was attributed to the government’s promotion of freedom measures that included deregulation of industrial sector and reduction on direct foreign investment commerce controls. This allowed the nation to experience an annual growth of 7 percent per year to 2011. However, the economy of India started to dwindle as a result of high interest rates and inflation. Nevertheless, the Indian economy starting 2012 experienced recovery. Presently India is equally transforming itself into a market economy with a high growth experienced between 2014 and 2015 when a growth rate of 7 percent was recorded. Just like India, China has equally been faced with numerous challenges in maintaining a steady economic growth (Zadro, Hux, & Fu 2017). Some of these challenges according to the scholars include, curbing corruption, eliminating violence and discrimination against women and improvising road networks for ease of transportation of agricultural products. Nevertheless, the Indian Government is committed into ensuring that these challenges are adequately addressed.


China Population (2018). Retrieved November 18, 2018, from http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/china-population

Tubilewicz, C. (Ed.). (2016). Critical Issues in Contemporary China: Unity, Stability and Development. Taylor & Francis.

World Bank Report (2018) retreived from http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/poverty/33EF03BB-9722-4AE2-ABC7-AA2972D68AFE/Global_POVEQ_CHN.pdf

World Bank Report (2018) retrieved from http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/poverty/33EF03BB-9722-4AE2-ABC7-AA2972D68AFE/Global_POVEQ_IND.pdf

Zadro, A., ZadroAlessandro, A., Hux, & Fu, F. (2017, October 20). A comparison of economic development in China and India. Retrieved from https://www.saporedicina.com/english/economic-development-china-and-india


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