India to be most populous country by 2028: UN report

India’s population will touch 1.4 billion in 2025

India will become the most populous country in the world by 2028, surpassing China, while Nigeria will have more people than the United States by 2050, a latest report has said.

The World Population Prospects — The 2012 Revision, released by the United Nations on Thursday, projected an increase in the world population of 7.2 billion in 2013 by almost one billion people within the next 12 years, touch 8.1 billion in 2025 and increase further to 9.6 billion in 2050. By the turn of the century, the population will cross a whopping 10.9 billion.

Half of the population growth will be concentrated in a small number of countries. Between 201-2100, eight countries are expected to account for half of the world’s projected population increase. These will be Nigeria, India, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Uganda, Ethiopia and the United States of America (listed according to the size of their contribution to global population growth).

At 1.2 billion now, India’s population will touch 1.4 billion in 2025; 1.6 billion by 2050 before it starts declining by the year 2100, at which point India will have 1.5 billion people. In comparison, China has 1.3 billion people now, with the number expected to grow to 1.4 billion in 2025, after which it starts declining. By 2050, China’s population will have dropped to 1.3 billion and further to 1.03 billion by the turn of the century.

The results are based on the medium-variant projection, which assumes a decline in fertility for countries where large families are still prevalent as well as a slight increase in fertility in several countries with fewer than two children per woman on average. Almost all of the additional 3.7 billion people from now to 2100 will enlarge the population of developing countries to over 8 billion in 2050 and further to 9.6 billion in 2100. They will mainly be distributed among the population aged 15-59 years (1.6 billion) and 60 or above (1.99 billion) as the number of children under age 15 in developing countries will not increase much.

Growth is expected to be particularly dramatic in the least developed countries of the world which are projected to double in size from 898 million inhabitants at present to 1.8 billion in 2050 and almost 3 billion in 2100. In contrast, the population of the more developed regions is expected to change minimally, passing from 1.25 billion now to 1.28 billion in 2100, and will actually decline but for the net increase due to migration from developing to developed countries, which is projected to average about 2.4 million people annually from 2013 to 2050 and a million from 2050 to 2100. At the country level, much of the overall increase between 2013 and 2050 is projected to take place in high-fertility countries, mainly in Africa, as well as countries with large populations such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Philippines and the U.S..

The populations of 35 countries, mostly less developing countries, could triple or more between now and 2100. Among these, the populations of several African countries like Malawi, Mali, Niger and Nigeria is likely to increase at least five fold. In sharp contrast, the population of 43 countries is expected to see their populations decline by 15 per cent. These are Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Russian Federation.

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