India’s population will surpass that of China by 2027, the United Nations said in its World Population Prospects report for 2019, released on Monday. China is currently the world’s most populous country, with India at the second spot.
The 2011 census had put India’s population at 1.21 billion. The next census will be carried out in 2021.
The report said that the world’s population continues to grow, though at a slower pace. It will increase from the current 7.7 billion in 2019 to 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100. “More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just nine countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States of America,” the report said.
Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are likely to account for more than half the increase in the global population from 2019 to 2050, the report said. On the other hand, 55 countries or areas will see a reduction in their populations during this period, due to sustained low levels of fertility, and high rates of emigration in some places. The populations of Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and the Wallis and Futuna Islands are expected to fall by 20% or more during this period.
“...populations in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, Central and Southern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Northern America are projected to reach peak population size and to begin to decline before the end of this century,” the UN report said. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people will continue to increase until 2100 AD.
The UN report also said that in 2018, for the first time in recorded history, people over 65 years of age outnumbered children under the age of five. “Projections indicate that by 2050 there will be more than twice as many persons above 65 as children under five,” it said. “By 2050, the number of persons aged 65 years or over globally will also surpass the number of adolescents and youth aged 15 to 24 years.”
The report said that life expectancy at birth stood at 72.6 years worldwide in 2018, an improvement of eight years since 1990. This is expected to reach around 77.1 years in 2050.