With an average population growth of 2.6 per cent between 2010 and 2019, Nigeria now has a population of about 201 million.
The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled this estimate in its 2019 State of the World Population report.
The report said that Nigeria’s population grew by about 5 million people from 2018 when the country’s population was 195.9 million.
The country has witnessed a population growth from 54.7 million in 1969 to 105.4 million in 1994 and 201.0 million in 2019.
According to UNFPA, the age distribution of 15-64 years is the highest population composition in the country with 54 per cent of Nigerians falling between the age range.
Forty-four per cent of Nigerians are within the age distribution 0-14 while 32 per cent of the population is between 10 and 24 years and a paltry 3 per cent are 65 and above.
The low percentage of those within the 65 and above age distribution is not entirely surprising with the life expectancy of Nigeria at 55 years old, one of the lowest across the world.
However, the estimate of life expectancy is higher than that given by the National Population Commission. Its chairman, Alhaji Hassan Bashir told the 52nd Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York early this month that the overall life expectancy of Nigeria stands at 52.2 years.
He said Nigerians “60 years and over currently represents less than five per cent of the entire population, while overall life expectancy is 52.2 years”.
The UNFPA report indicates a slight drop in the fertility rate from 2018’s 5.4 births per woman to 5.3 births per woman. It continues the trend of dropping fertility rate over the years from 6.3 in 1994 to 5.3 in 2019.
The World population grew to 7.7 billion in 2019 while the life expectancy rate is 72 years.
UNFPA supports reproductive health care for women and youth across the world.
The report also indicated that 51 per cent of women aged 15-49 years who are married (or in union) make decisions on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
UNFPA has also committed to its agenda 2030. The bold agenda of UNFPA seeks to protect and promote human rights.
“Leave no one behind and reach the furthest behind first; strengthen link between development, humanitarian action & sustaining peace; reduce risks and vulnerabilities and build resilience.
“Ensure gender-responsive approaches at all levels of programming and Improve accountability, transparency and efficiency.’’
According to UNFPA, “it is important that we act now. A bold agenda requires bold action. To achieve these objectives, we must work together to leave no one behind.’’