India may overtake China as the world’s most populous country in less than a decade, says the United Nations.

According to the UN’s 2019 World Population Prospects report released on June 17, China and India currently account for about 37 percent of global population which is estimated to currently be at 7.7 billion.

However, by 2027, India — which accounts for 1.3 billion of the world’s population — is expected to have surpassed China, which currently holds an estimated 1.4 billion people.

The gap, according to the UN, is expected to widen significantly by 2050 with China’s population projected to shrink by 31.4 million (2.2 percent). Global population, the report also said, would soar up to a staggering 9.7 billion people by 2050.

Besides this staggering increase, the report also projected Nigeria as the third most populous country by 2050 with an estimated 733 million people. This comes against the projected figures for the United States which is expected to emerge fourth with 434 million.

“India, along with eight other countries, will make up over half of the estimated population growth between now and 2050. Among the nine countries expected to show the biggest increase are India, Nigeria and Pakistan,” read the report.

According to UN’s release, the trio is “followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States of America. The population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to practically double by 2050.”

“Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN’s under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs.

“Between 2019 and 2050, 55 countries or areas are expected to see their populations decrease by at least 1 percent due to persistently low fertility rates, some cases of which would be reinforced by high rates of emigration.”

By the end of the 20th century, the planet would have to sustain around 11 billion people. Overall growth rate, the report added, would continue to fall while more countries will experience an increase in their aging population.



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