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Why India Will Keep Growing Faster Than China

China's authoritarian government has some advantages — for now
Traffic at the Begum Bazaar in Hyderabad, India, on March 10, 2014.

Traffic at the Begum Bazaar in Hyderabad, India, on March 10, 2014.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

The economic growth race between India and China started in the late 1940s, around the time India gained independence and adopted democracy and China turned to communism. Given the sheer size of their populations, each has the potential to dominate the global economy but until recently, it's been no contest: In 2013, China's per capita gross domestic product was 4.5 times larger than India's.

The latest forecast suggests that the tide may be turning in India's favor, possibly for good. The World Bank anticipates (PDF) that, by 2017, India will be growing faster than China: