Indonesia is projected to no longer be the world's fourth-most populous nation by 2045 due to declining birth rates, according to the Ministry of National Planning. A recent survey conducted by the ministry and the statistics agency indicates that Indonesia's population growth will slow to 0.4% in 2045, compared to 1.17% last year. This means that in the next 22 years, Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, will have a population of 324 million people, placing it behind Nigeria and Pakistan in terms of population ranking.
The Planning Minister, Suharso Monoarfa, stated that Indonesia's population growth is slowing down each year, with an average annual growth rate of 0.67% between 2020 and 2050. This finding reflects a global trend of significant population shifts, particularly in middle-income nations where incomes are changing and birth rates are decreasing. China, for example, lost its position as the world's most populous country to India, as Beijing reported a population decline for the first time in six decades last year.
Indonesia has been relying on its demographic dividend, which refers to the economic growth potential resulting from a larger working-age population, to overcome the "middle-income trap" and achieve its goal of becoming a high-income country by 2045. The government has implemented a family planning campaign that aims not only to reduce the fertility rate but also to enhance the quality of human capital in terms of health, education, and employment. The proportion of Indonesians aged over 65 years old is projected to increase to 14.6% in 2045, up from 6.2% in 2020. On the other hand, the percentage of productive-age citizens (15-64 years old) will decline from 69.3% to 65.8% during the same period.
Monoarfa highlighted that the global population structure is undergoing rapid changes and emphasized the need for Indonesia to recover from the pandemic and pursue an inclusive and sustainable economic transformation moving forward.