India is projected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous country in the next eight years or around 2027. In 2050, India will be home of 1.5 billion people while China’s population will be reduced to 1.1 billion. India’s population will continue to grow an reach its peak of 1.65 billion by 2059 and only then it will start going downward. India is expected to add nearly 273 million people between 2019 and 2050 and remain the most populated country till the end of the current century, while the population of Nigeria is projected to grow by 200 million. Together, these two countries could account for 23% of the global population increase by 2050. These are some major highlights of a report, titled “The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights”, prepared by the Population Division of the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs and published on June 17, 2019. The report highlighted that “disparate population growth rates” among the world’s largest countries will re-order their ranking by size.
The report says that the world’s total population in 2019 is 7.7 billion, while China, with 1.43 billion people in 2019, and India, with 1.37 billion, have long been the two most populous countries of the world, comprising 19% and 18%, respectively, of the global total. They are followed by the United States of America (329 million), Indonesia (271 million), Brazil (209.1 million) and Pakistan (197.6 million). The United Nations’ model of analysis suggests that the world’s population is expected to increase by two billion people in the next 30 yeats-from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050. By 2100, the world population is expected to touch the level of 11 billion people. The report says that more than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just nine countries, led by India and followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the US.
The report also confirms that the world’s population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels and that the number of countries experiencing a reduction in population size is growing. By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%). The number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.
At the same time, the report says, a growing number of countries are experiencing a reduction in population size. Since 2010, 27 countries or areas have experienced a reduction of 1% in the size of their populations, caused by sustained low levels of fertility. In China, the population is projected to decrease by 31.4 million, or around 2.2%, between 2019 and 2050.
The report also says that the increase in the world’s population will be led by Sub-Saharan countries. While the majority of countries in Africa will see a jump in their population between 2019 and 2050, many other nations of the world will be facing the problems of contracting and aging populations. UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. Liu Zhenmin said, “Many of the fastest growing populations ate in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges in the effort to eradicate poverty, achieve greater equality, combat hunger and malnutrition and strengthen the coverage and quality of health and education systems to ensure that no one is left behind.” It would be worth recalling that the previous UN projections had estimated that India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country as early as 2022. The 2017 world population report, released by the UN two years ago, had estimated that the population of India will surpass that of China’s by around 2024.