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Nigeria’s population to hit 733m by 2050 as third highest ― UN report

…as India set to overtake China …Global population to hit 9.7bn

Nigeria is on its way to becoming the world’s thirst most populous country by 2050 with a projected population of 733 million and pushing the United States to the fourth position with a population of 434 million.

According to the UN Population report, “The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights” released earlier this week, India will overtake China by around 2027 to become the most populous country while Pakistan will remain the world’s fifth largest country in terms of population.

“Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges”, said Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in a statement.

More than half of the predicted global population by 2050 will be clustered in just nine countries, the report said: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and the United States.

Although the overall growth rate will continue to fall, and more countries will have to adapt to the consequences of an aging population, the report estimates that the next 30 years will see the global population add an extra 2 billion people to today’s figure of 7.7 billion, and, by the end of the century, the planet will have to sustain around 11 billion.

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India, along with eight other countries including Nigeria and Pakistan, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States of America, will make up over half of the estimated population growth between now and 2050.

In all, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to practically double by 2050.

However, growth in these countries comes against the backdrop of a slowing global fertility rate.

Since 2010, 27 countries or areas have seen a drop of at least one percent, because of persistently low fertility rates.

Between now and 2050, that is expected to expand to 55 countries which will see a population decrease of one percent or more, and almost half of these will experience a drop of at least 10 percent.

In some cases, the falling population size is reinforced by high rates of emigration, and migration flows have become a major reason for population change in certain regions.

Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines are seeing the largest migratory outflows resulting from the demand for migrant workers; and Myanmar, Syria, and Venezuela are the countries where the largest numbers are leaving because of violence, insecurity or armed conflict.

For those countries where the population is falling, immigration is expected to plug the gaps, particularly in Belarus, Estonia, and Germany.

“Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges”, said Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

These challenges include the fight to eradicate poverty, and combat hunger and malnutrition; greater equality; and improved healthcare and education.

The report, he said, offers a “roadmap” indicating where to target action and interventions.

At the same time, growth is providing opportunities in many developing economies: recent reductions in fertility mean that the working-age population (25 to 64) is growing faster than other age ranges, which could improve the possibilities for faster economic growth.

The report recommends that governments make use of this “demographic dividend” to invest in education in health.
Although overall life expectancy will increase from 64.2 years in 1990 to 77.1 years in 2050, life expectancy in poorer countries will continue to lag behind.

Today, the average lifespan of a baby born in one of the least developed countries will be some 7 years shorter than one born in a developed country.

The main reasons are a high child and maternal mortality rates, violence, and the continuing impact of the HIV epidemic.

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