India is projected to surpass China as the world's most populous country around 2027. The country is expected to add nearly 273 million people between now and 2050.
It will remain the most populated country through the end of the current century, a UN report said on Monday.
"India is expected to add nearly 273 million people between 2019 and 2050, while the population of Nigeria is projected to grow by 200 million. Together, these two countries could account for 23 per cent of the global population increase to 2050," said The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights report
World's population is expected to increase by two billion
''The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights'', published by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said the world's population is expected to increase by two billion people in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050.
According to the study, around the end of the current century, the world's population could reach its peak, at a level of nearly 11 billion.
The new report said that more than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just nine countries, led by India and followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the US.
Previous UN projections had estimated that India will surpass China as the world's most populous country as early as 2022. The 2017 world population report, released by the UN two years ago, had estimated that the population of India will surpass that of China's by around 2024. In its 24th round of estimates released in 2015, the UN had projected that India will become more populous than China by 2022.
Two most populous countries of the world
China, with 1.43 billion people in 2019, and India, with 1.37 billion, have long been the two most populous countries of the world, comprising 19 and 18 per cent, respectively, of the global total in 2019. They are followed by the United States of America, with 329 million in 2019, and Indonesia, with 271 million, the 2019 report said.
In China, the population is projected to decrease by 31.4 million, or around 2.2 per cent, between 2019 and 2050.
Life expectancy at birth for the world, which increased from 64.2 years in 1990 to 72.6 years in 2019, is expected to increase further to 77.1 years in 2050.
Reason for growing population
The report also confirmed that the world's population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels, and that the number of countries experiencing a reduction in population size is growing.
By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16 per cent), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9 per cent). The number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.
Global fertility rate, which fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 in 2019, is projected to decline further to 2.2 in 2050. A fertility level of 2.1 births per woman is needed to ensure replacement of generations and avoid population decline over the long run in the absence of immigration.
(With PTI inputs)