The population of Africa will account for more than half of all global population growth between now and 2050, according to a UN population report.
The World Population Prospects says that of the 2.2bn people who may be added by 2050, 1.3bn will be in Africa.
Nigeria is growing at the fastest rate in the world and its population is projected to overtake that of the US shortly before 2050, the report says.
Overall, half of the world’s population growth will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the US, Uganda and Indonesia – in order of their expected contribution to total growth.
Africa continues to experience very high rates of population growth. Between 2017 and 2050, the populations of 26 African countries are projected to reach at least double their current size. For six African countries, the populations are projected to increase by 2100 to more than five times their current size: Angola, Burundi, Niger, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
Most of the increase in global population can be attributed to a small number of countries Much of the overall increase in population between now and 2050 is projected to occur either in highfertility countries, mostly in Africa, or in countries with large populations.
From 2017 to 2050, it is expected that half of the world’s population growth will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda and Indonesia (ordered by their expected contribution to total growth). The new projections include some notable findings at the country level. For example, in roughly seven years, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China. Currently, the population of China is approximately 1.41 billion compared with 1.34 billion in India.
In 2024, both countries are expected to have roughly 1.44 billion people. Thereafter, India’s population is projected to continue growing for several decades to around 1.5 billion in 2030 and approaching 1.66 billion in 2050, while the population of China is expected to remain stable until the 2030s, after which it may begin a slow decline. Among the ten largest countries of the world, one is in Africa (Nigeria), five are in Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan), two are in Latin America (Brazil and Mexico), one is in Northern America (United States of America), and one is in Europe (Russian Federation). Amongst these, Nigeria’s population, currently the seventh largest in the world, is growing the most rapidly. Consequently, the population of Nigeria is projected to surpass that of the United States shortly before 2050, at which point it would become the third largest country in the world. In 2050, the populations in six of the ten largest countries are expected to exceed 300 million: China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and United States of America (in alphabetical order).
UN World Population Prospects The 2017 Revision