India’s population is projected to overtake that of China's by 2028 with India’s population growing through the middle of the century even as China’s population gets smaller, according to a U.N. report released on Friday.
By 2028, both Asian giants are estimated to have 1.45 billion people each and India’s population growth is tipped to continue until 2050, while China’s population is projected to start declining after 2030.
The current world population of 7.2 billion is estimated to grow by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, a projected total that is higher in comparison to previous assessments of world population trends, the report said.
“In some cases, the actual level of fertility appears to have risen in recent years; in other cases, the previous estimate was too low,” John Wilmoth, director of the Population Division at the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said during a press conference in New York on Friday.
The report noted that total population in developed nations will remain largely at around 1.3 billion from now until the middle of the century, but in 49 of the world's least-developed countries, the population is projected to double to 1.8 billion by 2050 from around 900 million in 2013.
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“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,” Wu Hongbo, the U.N.'s Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said in a statement.
Developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Brazil and South Africa have seen a rapid decline in average number of children per woman, while in countries with high levels of fertility such as Nigeria, Niger, Congo, Ethiopia and Uganda, population growth is expected to continue over the next few decades, Wilmoth said.
Nigeria is expected to overtake the U.S. in population by 2050, the report found. Europe’s population will decline 14 percent by mid-century, as the region already faces challenges in supporting its rapidly aging population.
Life expectancy will continue to increase in both developed and developing regions, with the average life expectancy in developed countries estimated to be around 89 years, in comparison to about 81 years in developing nations, the report added.