The United Nations is projecting that India will become the world’s most populous country next year, overtaking China with its 1.4 billion people, as the global population surges to 8 billion by November 2022.
Whereas India deferred the 2021 census due to Covid-19 pandemic, the South Asian country’s population was 1.21 billion in 2011.
China, which has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world (at 1.15 children per woman), has indicated that its population will start declining next year – much earlier than previously thought.
According to the UN, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania will provide over half the global population growth in the next 30 years.
Overall, fertility rates are falling globally – even in many of the countries where the population is expanding as an increasing number of people are having fewer children than their parents did.
Last year, the average fertility stood at 2.3 births per woman, a decline from 5 births in 1950, and global fertility is billed to shrink further to 2.1 births per woman in 2050.
Currently, some of the world’s most developed economies are already seeing population shrink as fertility rates fall below 2.1 children per woman, which is known as the “replacement rate”. In 61 countries, the UN says, populations will decline by at least 1 percent by 2050, on account of a drop in fertility.
The UN released on World Population Day estimates that the world could be home to 8.5 billion by 2030, 10.4 billion people by 2100.