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India To Top China As World’s Most Populated Country In 15 Years
June 14, 2013
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The morning commute in Bombay, India

Is it getting crowded in here? And by here, we mean Earth. The little blue and green marble we call home.

There are a lot of us to be sure: 7.2 billion people on the planet right now. And according to a new UN report - by 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9.6 billion.

That's another 2 and a half billion or so people, in just over 35 years.

That's a faster rate of growth than previously estimated. And most of that growth is expected in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

In fact, the United Nations says the world's 49 poorest countries will likely double in population from 900 million now to 1.8 billion by 2050 and 2.9 billion by 2100.

"Although population growth has slowed for the world as a whole, this report reminds us that some developing countries, especially in Africa, are still growing rapidly," commented Wu Hongbo, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social

A market in Lagos, Nigeria

That raises some serious concerns.

As the Daily Mail reports, "With famine recently returning to the Horn of Africa, it is feared a continent already feeling the pain of climate change will be unable to produce enough food or more importantly, have enough water, to meet its needs.

Africa is growing fast because it is young. The top 10 youngest populations in the world are all from the continent, led by Niger with an estimated 48.9 per cent below the age of 14, Uganda and Mali."

In highly developed countries, such as Canada, the population is expected to more or less stay the same.

It's a different story in India, which is projected to overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2028 - just 15 years from now.

The commute in New Delhi

By then, the UN report suggests India and China will each have about 1.45 million people. But India's population will keep growing through the middle of the century, while China's slowly gets smaller.

Another country apparently in for a big population spike is Nigeria. The report says its population is expected to pass the United States by 2050, and could be as big as China's by 2100.

Also by 2100, the global population is expected to hit almost 11 billion.

"These new findings show that we need to renew policies, such as increasing access to family planning and expanding education for girls, to address rapid population growth in Africa," Professor Adrian Raftery, of the University of Washington, told the Daily Mail.

Researchers used information for 233 countries and areas to put together today's report, entitled 'World Population Prospects'.

via Al Jazeera

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