India projected to be world’s most populous country next year: UN Report

The world population will reach 8 billion November 15, 2022

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 11 July 2022
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock Photo: iStock

India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023, according to World Population Prospects 2022, released on World Population Day, July 11, 2022.

The global population is projected to reach eight billion November 15, 2022, according to the report. It is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under one per cent in 2020.

The latest projections by the United Nations suggest that the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. It is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and to remain at that level until 2100.

World Population Prospects 2022 also states that fertility has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries.

Today, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run for a population with low mortality.

The populations of 61 countries or areas are projected to decrease by one per cent or more between 2022 and 2050, owing to sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, elevated rates of emigration.

More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries:

  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo,
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • The Philippines
  • Tanzania

Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050.

The share of global population at ages 65 and above is projected to rise to 16 per cent in 2050, from 10 per cent in 2022. At that point, it is expected that the number of persons aged 65 years or over worldwide will be more than twice the number of children under age five and about the same as the number under age 12.

Countries with ageing populations should take steps to adapt public programmes to the growing numbers of older persons, the report recommended.

This includes establishing universal health care and long-term care systems and improving the sustainability of social security and pension systems.

Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost nine years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are projected to result in an average global longevity of around 77.2 years in 2050. Yet in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged seven years behind the global average.

The report noted that in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, the share of population at working age (between 25 and 64 years) had been increasing thanks to recent reductions in fertility.

Countries needed to invest in the further development of their human capital by ensuring access to health care and quality education at all ages and by promoting opportunities for productive employment and decent work, the report recommended.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected all components of population change, the report said. Global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021.

In some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have produced short-term reductions in numbers of pregnancies and births.

There was little evidence of an impact on fertility levels or trends for many other countries. The pandemic severely restricted all forms of human mobility, including international migration, the report said.

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