This is both a valuable reference book and a model of quantitative analysis and sound prediction. It is not a book to be read cover to cover-the mass of data and numbers in it is overwhelming, thanks in part to India's superior record of statistical collection. The chapters on India's past population, its mortality and health trends, its fertility patterns, and its future prospects are all based on solid data and leave little need for speculation. The chapter on the economy is more backward-than forward-looking, in that it focuses on industrial development and ignores the extraordinary advances Indians have made in the service sector, thanks in part to their knowledge of English. Given that India will likely have a population of 1.4 billion by 2026, and between 1.5 and 1.7 billion by 2050, it is appropriate that the contributors give considerable attention to the environment and to trends in the production of energy and food.
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