India’s Population Expected to Surpass China’s by 2050: World Population Data Sheet
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According to the 2019 World Population Data Sheet, the world population reached 7.7 billion in 2019.

Nigeria has the world’s highest total fertility rate, with an average of seven births per woman.

Aging trends “are holding steady,” with countries in Africa home to some of the world’s youngest populations and countries in Asia and Europe hosting some of the oldest populations.

24 September 2019: The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has released the 2019 World Population Data Sheet, which provides demographic trends for over 200 countries and territories. The Data Sheet estimates that the total global population will increase 28% between 2019 and 2050.

The 2019 Data Sheet indicates that the world population reached 7.7 billion in 2019. By 2050, India will surpass China as the most populous country in the world, with an estimated 1.67 billion people. Trends also suggest that more people will live in Nigeria than in the US by 2050, with Nigeria’s population predicted to double from 201.0 million people to 401.3 million people. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will move from the world’s 16th most populous country in 2019 to the 9th most populous by 2050, joining Nigeria and Ethiopia as the most populous countries in Africa. Overall, sub-Saharan Africa’s population is anticipated to increase 28% between 2019 and 2050.

In contrast, East Asia’s population is predicted to experience the world’s largest population decline between 2019 and 2050, with a decline of 51 million people. Similarly, the Data Sheet estimates that Germany and the UK will no longer be among the most populous countries by 2050.

Although the total global fertility rate continues to decline, the current rate of 2.4 is high enough to translate into continued population growth. Nigeria has the world’s highest total fertility rate, with an average of seven births per woman. Macao has the lowest total fertility rate at 0.9 births per woman, followed by Andorra and South Korea at 1. Kenya’s total fertility rate is 3.6, India’s is 2.2 and China’s is 1.6. In the US, fertility decreased to 1.7, the lowest level in recorded history.

By 2050, Nigeria’s population is predicted to double from 201.0 million people to 401.3 million people.

On aging, the report finds that aging trends “are holding steady” in many parts of the world. Countries in Asia and Europe have some of the oldest populations, while countries in Africa are home to some of the world’s youngest populations. Southern Europe is the oldest region in the world, with 21% of the population aged 65 or older. Countries with older populations include Japan (28%), Monaco (26%) and Italy (23%). In contrast, in Nigeria, only 3% of the population is 65 years old or older. In China, 12% of the population is 65 years or older; in the US, 16% of the population is 65 years or older; in India, 6% of the population is 65 or older.

In middle Africa, 46% of the population is under 15, making it the youngest region in the world. Countries in Africa with some of the youngest populations include Niger (50%); Angola, Chad and Mali (48%); and Uganda and Somalia (47%). In contrast, in India, 27% of the population is 15 years old or younger; in China, 18% of the population is 15 years old or younger; and, in the US, 19% of the population is 15 years old or younger.

Other notable data from the 2019 Data Sheet include:

  • Sweden has the smallest average household size, at 1.9 people; and
  • Albania, Chad and South Sudan have the lowest percentages of married women, aged 15 to 49 years, using modern contraceptive methods, at 5% or lower.

The 2019 Data Sheet features a special section on the history of the census titled, ‘Wolves, Water and War,’ which describes, among others, the first-known census in the Babylonian Empire and the 1926 census in Soviet Russia when enumerators fought off wolves. PRB argues that today’s technology “makes it much easier” for countries to receive and analyze data to support decision making, allocation of funding and planning of emergency responses. In 2020, 52 countries are planning to conduct a census, including Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, the US and Zambia.

PRB has produced the Data Sheet annually since 1962. PRB is a non-profit organization that works to inform people around the world about population, health and the environment and to empower people to use this information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. [PRB 2019 World Population Data Sheet Webpage] [Wolves, Water and War] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on 2018 Data] [PRB website]

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