India’s big population, huge inflation and large insurance market

My links post is normally an aggregate of unrelated topics because I save good articles throughout the week, and then write this post sometime late Friday.

This week however I find that most links have the central theme of something big that pertains to India.

To start with I was going through the Census Website, and saw that India’s population was 238 million in 1900, and in the next 110 years it grew at 1.49% CAGR to 1.2 billion people.

The US had a population of 76 million in 1900 and it currently has a  population of 307 million, which shows that in the same period their population grew at ~1.28%.

If they had grown at 1.49% then their population would be about 386 million.

I was thinking about why India has such a large population a few months ago, and I don’t think I’ve seen this question addressed comprehensively anywhere. From this data I infer that there’s nothing extra-ordinary that happened in the last 100 years or after Independence, and we had quite a large base to begin with.

There are some other interesting nuggets of information on the census website, and the current report (pdf) itself is just 2 pages and very well laid out.

Next up is this speech by Dr. Subir Gokarn, Deputy Governor RBI on Sustainability of Economic Growth and Controlling Inflation.

The speech is quite brilliant: short, easy to read, with charts that offer explanation and is one of the best pieces I’ve read about the balance between growth and inflation in the country. The bottom line is that inflation must be controlled for higher economic growth, and high inflation does in fact pose a risk to high economic growth.

Beyond BRICS on a BCG report about how Indian insurance market is set to become the largest after America and China.

Some other links now:

Great post explaining the concept of Margins by Fred Wilson.

Kid Dynamite on how the NASDAQ 100 Index is going to change shortly, and how it evolved.  This is an important post for people who recently invested or are looking to invest in the MOST Shares NASDAQ 100 Index.

Finally, Hemant on 10 best ways of managing personal finance.

Enjoy your weekend!

2 thoughts on “India’s big population, huge inflation and large insurance market”

  1. Nice post. When we (incl. CFPs) calculate retirement corpus we almost always take single digit inflation%. This is of course because two digit inflation would make the whole scenario depressing! This is of course far from present reality and no knows how coming decades would be. India is a service/agrarian economy. Only when it emerges as a strong manufacturing economy also can it control inflation better. So down the line close to retirement we shouldn’t be surprised if our corpus’s fall short because of high inflation.

    Why is the govt not promoting family planning and contraception like it did in the mid-80s? Do you know how many people still don’t use any form of contraception? It is unlikely that any of them would be reading this!

    This is why personal finance literacy is so important for the poor. They must realize that unless they are financially stable they should not bring another human being into this world!

    In the movie nine months there is a nice line. “You need a license to drive a car, hunt and fish … but don’t need one to bring a baby in the world” Sometimes I think we should have one!

    1. I hope for the sake of people like me who have several decades to retire that inflation doesn’t run into double digits for all those years. If it does, then it’s quite likely that the Indian growth story will derail as a result, and we won’t quite live the dream we’re hoping to.

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