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Global Population to 2050

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September 16, 2022

The world’s population is expected to reach eight billion on November 15, 2022. The UN projected that there will be 8.5 billion people in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, reflecting annual population increases of almost 80 million from 135 million births and 55 million deaths a year.

Over half of the world’s people, 52 percent, live in seven of the world’s 200 countries. The US is third after China and India with 338 million people, followed by Indonesia with 276 million people, Pakistan with 236 million, Nigeria with 219 million, and Brazil with 215 million.

Over half of the world’s people live in 7 of the world’s 200 countries

China and India each have 1.4 billion people and together they include a third of the world’s people.

China and India have 2.8 billion people, more than dozens of countries combined

Most of the increase in the world’s population between 2022 and 2050 is projected to be in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average woman has almost five children, double the global average of 2.3 births per woman. The average fertility rate for women globally was five in 1950 and is 2.3 today, slightly above the 2.1 rate needed to keep a population stable.

½ of the 2 billion increase in world population by 2050 is projected to be in Sub-Saharan Africa

The world’s population was a billion in 1820, and a century was required for the global population to double. Between 1927 and 2022, the world’s population quadrupled from two billion to eight billion.

The world’s population rose 4x from 2 billion to 8 billion between 1927 and 2022

By region, 61 percent of the world’s people live in Asia (4.7 billion), 17 percent in Africa (1.3 billion), 10 percent in Europe (750 million), eight percent in Latin America and the Caribbean (650 million), and five per cent in Northern America (370 million) and Oceania (43 million).

The UN expects the populations to decline in 61 countries by 2050; most countries with declining populations are in Europe and East Asia. The Baltic states, Bulgaria, and Ukraine are expected to have 20 percent fewer people by 2050. Cuba is the only country in the Western Hemisphere expected to have a declining population.

Most countries with declining populations are in Europe

Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to have growing populations; almost all of the 36 countries where women have an average four or more children are in Africa. In the countries with the highest fertility, over half of adults are illiterate.

Collectively, eight African countries are expected to add a billion people by 2050, accounting for half of the world’s population increase: Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.

Population growth and rural-urban migration are projected to swell cities in Asia and Africa

The UN projects the world’s population to stabilize at about 10.4 billion in the 2080s. By 2100, India is expected to have more people than China, Nigeria more than the US, and half of the world’s most populous countries are expected to be in Africa.

In 2100, 5 of the 10 most populous countries are expected to be in Africa

Countries with largest population, in millions
1950 2020 2100
China 554 China 1,439 India 1,450
India 376 India 1,380 China 1,065
U.S. 159 U.S. 331 Nigeria 733
Russia 103 Indonesia 274 U.S. 434
Japan 83 Pakistan 221 Pakistan 403
Germany 70 Brazil 213 D.R. Congo 362
Indonesia 70 Nigeria 206 Indonesia 321
Brazil 54 Bangladesh 165 Ethiopia 294
UK 51 Russia 146 Tanzania 286
Italy 47 Mexico 129 Egypt 225

High fertility explains most of the expected changes in country populations between 2020 and 2100. About 250 babies were born each minute in 2022 or 1,000 every four minutes, including half in Asia and a third in Africa.

Half of babies born in 2022 are in Asia and a third in Africa

The median age, meaning that half of residents are older and half are younger, varies by region. Globally, the median age rose from 25 in 1950 to 33 in 2020. Africa’s high fertility results in a low median age of 20 in 2022, while Europe’s low fertility translates into a median age of 43. Africa’s median age has not risen much due to continued high fertility.

The world’s median age was 33 in 2022, and ranged from 20 in Africa to 43 in Europe

References

UN DESA. 2022. World Population Prospects 2022.


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