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Demographics

Animation: Global Population by Region From 1950 to 2100

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According to the most recent projections by the United Nations, the global population will rise from 7.6 billion to 11.2 billion people by 2100.

At this macro level, the global population is growing considerably – but at the micro level, the numbers are all over the map. It’s expected that some countries like Nigeria will see population numbers quadruple by 2100, while other places like China will see a decline by almost 40%.

This raises the question: how different do the regions of the world look in 80 years, in terms of population?

Population by Region (1950-2100)

Today’s animation comes to us from geographer Simon Kuestenmacher who used this U.N. data to show how population by region is expected to change over the coming years.

Animation: Global Population by Region From 1950 to 2100

The chart shows expansive population growth in Asia until about 2060, which is when the regional population will peak at roughly 5.3 billion. At this point, the continent will make up 51% of the global population.

In addition, Africa’s population is projected to continue to boom until 2100, at which point it will come close to passing Asia’s total. As we previously showed you, Africa will also be home to many of the world’s largest cities by this time.

Factors of Influence

Although 83 million people are being added to the global population every year, this population growth differs greatly by region. As a result, it’s worth looking at two major factors to see why this is the case.

The first is the fertility rate, which has obvious implications on population growth. On a global basis, this rate (measured in births per woman) is close to 2.5, and by 2100 it will have dropped to 2.0.

However, as you’ll see in this next chart, which shows projected fertility rates, Africa is the only region that will still have high amounts of child births 30 years from now. This will be one major driver of the continent’s population boom.

Total Fertility in 2050 (Live births per woman)

Global fertility in 2050

The second measure that plays a big role in these projections is life expectancy. For each new person born, how long are they expected to live?

Until recently, the only countries that had a life expectancy that exceeded 80 years were in Western Europe, North America, and Oceania, with the notable exception of Japan. However, in the coming decades, even the world’s least developed countries will all be closing in on that same benchmark:

Life Expectancy in 2100 (Years at birth)
Global fertility in 2050

The Next 30 Years

According to these same estimates, it is expected between 2017-2050 that half of all global population growth will be in just nine countries (in this order): India, Nigeria, DRC, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, United States, Uganda, and Indonesia.

Over that duration of time, it’s also projected that the populations of 26 African countries will at least double.

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Politics

Charted: The Number of Democracies Globally

How many democracies does the world have? This visual shows the change since 1945 and the top nations becoming more (and less) democratic.

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Charted: The Number of Democracies Globally

The end of World War II in 1945 was a turning point for democracies around the world.

Before this critical turning point in geopolitics, democracies made up only a small number of the world’s countries, both legally and in practice. However, over the course of the next six decades, the number of democratic nations would more than quadruple.

Interestingly, studies have found that this trend has recently reversed as of the 2010s, with democracies and non-democracies now in a deadlock.

In this visualization, Staffan Landin uses data from V-DEM’s Electoral Democratic Index (EDI) to highlight the changing face of global politics over the past two decades and the nations that contributed the most to this change.

The Methodology

V-DEM’s EDI attempts to measure democratic development in a comprehensive way, through the contributions of 3,700 experts from countries around the world.

Instead of relying on each nation’s legally recognized system of government, the EDI analyzes the level of electoral democracy in countries on a range of indicators, including:

  • Free and fair elections
  • Rule of law
  • Alternative sources of information and association
  • Freedom of expression

Countries are assigned a score on a scale from 0 to 1, with higher scores indicating a higher level of democracy. Each is also categorized into four types of functional government, from liberal and electoral democracies to electoral and closed autocracies.

Which Countries Have Declined the Most?

The EDI found that numerous countries around the world saw declines in democracy over the past two decades. Here are the 10 countries that saw the steepest decline in EDI score since 2010:

CountryDemocracy Index (2010)Democracy Index (2022)Points Lost
🇭🇺 Hungary0.800.46-34
🇵🇱 Poland0.890.59-30
🇷🇸 Serbia0.610.34-27
🇹🇷 Türkiye0.550.28-27
🇮🇳 India0.710.44-27
🇲🇱 Mali0.510.25-26
🇹🇭 Thailand0.440.20-24
🇦🇫 Afghanistan0.380.16-22
🇧🇷 Brazil0.880.66-22
🇧🇯 Benin0.640.42-22

Central and Eastern Europe was home to three of the countries seeing the largest declines in democracy. Hungary, Poland, and Serbia lead the table, with Hungary and Serbia in particular dropping below scores of 0.5.

Some of the world’s largest countries by population also decreased significantly, including India and Brazil. Across most of the top 10, the “freedom of expression” indicator was hit particularly hard, with notable increases in media censorship to be found in Afghanistan and Brazil.

Countries Becoming More Democratic

Here are the 10 countries that saw the largest increase in EDI score since 2010:

CountryDemocracy Index (2010)Democracy Index (2022)Points Gained
🇦🇲 Armenia0.340.74+40
🇫🇯 Fiji0.140.40+26
🇬🇲 The Gambia0.250.50+25
🇸🇨 Seychelles0.450.67+22
🇲🇬 Madagascar0.280.48+20
🇹🇳 Tunisia0.400.56+16
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka0.420.57+15
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau0.410.56+15
🇲🇩 Moldova0.590.74+15
🇳🇵 Nepal0.460.59+13

Armenia, Fiji, and Seychelles saw significant improvement in the autonomy of their electoral management bodies in the last 10 years. Partially as a result, both Armenia and Seychelles have seen their scores rise above 0.5.

The Gambia also saw great improvement across many election indicators, including the quality of voter registries, vote buying, and election violence. It was one of five African countries to make the top 10 most improved democracies.

With the total number of democracies and non-democracies almost tied over the past four years, it is hard to predict the political atmosphere in the future.

Want to know more about democracy in today’s world? Check out our global breakdown of each country’s democratic score in Mapped: The State of Global Democracy in 2022.
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