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2050: Europe on decline, India No.1, Africans double...

Projections released by the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau (PRB) show that the world population will increase 33% from 7.4 billion to 9.9 billion by 2050, and will hit the 10 billion mark three years later despite the decreasing fertility rates.

The report predicts the doubling of Africa’s population to 2.5 billion over the next 34 years. While Asia’s population is expected to increase by 900 million to 5.3 billion, Europe’s is to go down to 728 million from the current 740. The total population of the North and South America is projected to rise to 1.2 billion with an increase of 223 million. Oceania which includes Australia and New Zealand along with some Pacific islands will also display a comparatively modest increase from 40 to 66 million.

A closer look at the figures shows that the combined population of the world’s least developed 48 countries will double to 1.9 billion by 2050.

In the rankings of the most populous countries, China whose population is to go down to 1.344 billion from the current 1.378 billion, is to leave the top rung to India whose population is predicted to increase by 367 million to 1.708 billion. The United States is to preserve its No.3 status with a 77 million increase to 398 million, but is t share it with Nigeria doubling its population to the same figure.

An interesting detail shows a fourth of the current world population to be under the age of 15. The 41% of this young population is dispersed to least developed countries, whereas the ratio is only 16 percent in developed countries.


  • 1. “PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion”, Population Reference Bureau, 25 August 2016