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Demographics

Animation: The World’s Population in 2100 by Region

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It’s a well-known fact that 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia.

Although this information isn’t necessarily new or surprising to anyone, it’s still something that we’ve found interesting ways to look at in the past. For example, last week we showed you a data visualization using bubbles to represent the populations of every country in the world, and it really helped in putting these incredible demographics into perspective.

But here’s another look at population data – and this time we think it’ll provide more surprises. The following animated chart is based on data and projections from the U.N. Population Division, and it shows the evolving population share by region between 1950 and 2100.

Visualizing Population by Region

Today’s visualization comes from German geographer Simon Kuestenmacher, who posted the following animated graph:

The World's Population Sorted by Region

By 2100, only 11% of the world’s population will live in Northern America (United States and Canada), Europe, or Oceania.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of population growth will happen in Africa, a continent we noted earlier this week as being ripe in future economic opportunity, especially with its blossoming tech startup ecosystem.

Africa currently holds 16% of the world’s population, but by 2100 it will hold nearly the same percentage as Asia. Specifically, the U.N. Population Division expects Africa to hold 4.4 billion people by 2100, good for 39% of the world’s total.

Here are the projected tallies (in millions of people) by the U.N. for each region in 2015, 2030, 2050, and 2100:

Region2015203020502100
Africa1,1861,6792,4784,387
Asia4,3934,9235,2674,889
Europe738734707646
Northern America358396433500
Latin America / Caribbean634721784721
Oceania39475771
World7,3498,5019,72511,213

It should be noted that the U.N. classifies Northern America as Canada and the United States, while Mexico is included in the Latin America and Caribbean category. Lastly, the above table is based on revised projections from the U.N., which appears to be slightly different than the data set used in the chart.

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Countries

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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