One driver of growth in the healthcare sector is India’s booming population. By increasing rate of 2% annually by 2030, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation. By 2050, the population is projected to reach 1.6 billion.
This population increase is due in part to a decline in infant mortality, the result of better healthcare facilities and the government’s emphasis on eradicating diseases such as hepatitis and polio among infants. In addition, life expectancy is rapidly approaching the levels of the western world. By 2025, an estimated 189 million Indians will be at least 60 years of age—triple the number in 2004, thanks to greater affluence and better hygiene. The growing elderly population will place an enormous burden on India’s healthcare infrastructure. Thus requiring greater and better healthcare.
However, India’s thriving economy is driving urbanization and creating an expanding middle class, with more disposable income to spend on healthcare.
Thanks to rising income, today at least 50 million Indians can afford to buy Western medicines—a market only 20% smaller than that of the UK. If the economy continues to grow faster than the economies of the developed world, and the literacy rate keeps rising, much of western and southern India will be middle class by 2020.