UN: Global population to reach 8 billion this year, India to become most populated country
Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY – July 11, 2022
The world is continuing to grow.
The latest report from the United Nations projects the global population will reach 8 billion people later this year and continue to rise for the next eight decades.
The World Population Prospects 2022 report, released on Monday by the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, outlined what countries around the world should expect in the coming years.
The global population is expected to reach 8 billion by Nov. 15, the U.N. predicts, but it won’t stop there. The population could be around 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100, meaning Earth could have a 31% increase in human population by the end of the century.
The estimated population growth comes as the world’s average fertility rate continues to decline. In 2020, the global population growth rate fell below 1% for the first time since 1950. Currently, it’s at 2.3 births per woman, down from the average five births per woman in 1950. By 2050, it’s expected to slightly fall to 2.1 births per woman.
Still, factors such as the rise of life expectancy are reasons why the global population continues to rise.
“Globally, life expectancy reached 72.8 years in 2019, an increase of almost 9 years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are projected to result in an average longevity of around 77.2 years globally in 2050,” the report reads.
“Two-thirds of the projected increase in global population through 2050 will be driven by the momentum of past growth that is embedded in the youthful age structure of the current population. Such growth would occur even if childbearing in today’s high-fertility countries were to fall immediately to around two births per woman.”
People ages 65 and older are expected to account for 16% of the human population by 2050, up from 10% in 2022. Men currently make up 50.3% of the population, but by 2050, there are expected to be just as many women as men.
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World’s most populated country soon won’t be China
China has long been the most populous country, but that isn’t expected to last long, with India projected to be the world’s most populous country in 2023. Each country currently has a population over 1.4 billion people, accounting for over 35% of the global population, but China’s population is expected to start declining as early as next year.
By 2050, India is projected to have 1.6 billion people, while China is projected to have 1.3 billion people.
India is just one of eight countries – including the Philippines, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United Republic of Tanzania – expected to see major population growth by 2050. The increase in several sub-Saharan countries is expected to result in the population doubling in the area.
On the other side of the population spectrum, 61 countries are expected to have a population decrease of at least 1%. Of that list, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Ukraine are projected to lose at least 20% of their population.
What about the United States’ population?
North America is projected by the U.N. to reach its peak population in the late-2030s and then start declining “due to sustained low levels of fertility.” But that won’t affect the population of the U.S.
The U.S. population is currently 337 million people and it is projected to be at 375 million people in 2050, still making it the third most populous country in the world, behind India and China.