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Visualizing the Changing World Population, by Country

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Top 50 countries with largest population in 2050

Visualizing the Changing World Population, by Country

On average, there are 250 babies born every minute around the world. This adds up to over 130 million new human beings entering the world every year.

Then it’s no surprise that the world’s population, which now stands at a whopping 8 billion, has more than tripled since the mid-20th century.

This graphic by Truman Du uses December 2022 population data from the UN and summaries from the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) to show the unequal rise and fall of the world’s population by 2050.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these population trends.

Most Populous Countries: 2022 vs. 2050

The Asian countries of India and China have topped the rankings of the world’s most populous countries for hundreds of years.

China currently holds the number one spot on this list. But the population of India is expected to surpass that of China’s by later this year, eventually reaching a total of 1.67 billion in 2050.

RankMost Populous Countries (2022)Population (2022)Most Populous Countries (2050)Population (2050)
1China1.43BIndia1.67B
2India1.42BChina1.32B
3United States of America338MUnited States of America375M
4Indonesia276MNigeria375M
5Pakistan236MPakistan366M
6Nigeria219MIndonesia317M

The United States, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Indonesia are the next most populous countries in 2022, and they are expected to hold onto these spots until 2050. However, they have a long way to go before catching up with the top two, as their combined population doesn’t add up to half that of India and China’s total.

Interestingly, it is estimated that Nigeria’s population will shoot up to 375 million by 2050, almost matching the population of the United States. In 2022, the African country’s population was just around 219 million. This expected spike is largely due to a high birth rate and booming economy, and the resultant rural-to-urban migration.

Countries with Declining Populations

While many countries will be seeing their populations boom over the next three decades, other nations such as China are expected to experience the opposite.

CountryPopulation (2022)Population (2050F)
China1.425 billion1.316 billion
Japan123.9 million104.1 million
Russian Federation144.7 million133.4 million
Italy59.0 million52.4 million
Republic of Korea51.8 million45.9 million
Germany83.4 million79.1 million
Thailand71.7 million68.1 million
Spain 47.6 million44.3 million

Several countries in the world are expected to see their populations decline over the next 30 years. And the main reason for this: extremely low birth rates.

South Korea, which has the world’s lowest fertility rate, is expected to see a sharp decline of almost 12% in its population as it falls to 46 million by 2050.

Changing world population trends like this can pose challenges for economies around the world, such as labor shortages, aging populations, and an increasing financial burden on younger generations.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Demographics

Mapped: The Population of China and India in Perspective

We compare the populations of India and China to other top countries and regions for a unique perspective on the world’s demographics.

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The Population of China and India in Perspective

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, each boast populations exceeding 1.4 billion people.

To put this into perspective, we visualized populations of China and India beside other leading countries and regions. All figures are for 2023, and were accessed via Worldometer.

Data and Key Takeaways

All of the data we used to create this graphic is listed in the table below.

Country / RegionPopulation (2023)
🌍 Africa1,460,481,772
🇮🇳 India1,428,627,663
🇨🇳 China1,425,671,352
🌎 Latin America & the Caribbean664,997,121
🇪🇺🇬🇧 EU plus UK516,659,018
🇺🇸 U.S.339,996,563
🇮🇩 Indonesia277,534,122

From these figures, we can see that the entire population of Africa (currently the fastest growing region in the world) barely surpasses that of China and India.

The populations of China and India are each more than double the size of Latin America and the Caribbean, and nearly triple that of the European Union (including the UK).

Fast Facts on Global Population

Here are some important figures to know regarding the world’s population:

  • China accounts for 17.7% of the world’s population, while India represents a slightly larger 17.8% share.
  • Africa is the fastest growing region in the world, with annual growth of about 2.4%.
  • Europe is the only region in the world that is shrinking, at about -0.17% annually.

Learn More About Demographics from Visual Capitalist

If you enjoy graphics like these, be sure to check out Population Projections: The World’s 6 Largest Countries in 2075.

It reveals a startling contrast between the trajectories of China and India, with the latter peaking at 1.7 billion in the mid-2060s.

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