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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

Ranked: Countries Where Youth are the Most Unhappy, Relative to Older Generations

Conventional wisdom says that young adults (those below 30) tend to be the happiest demographic—but this is not true for these countries.

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Countries with the Biggest Happiness Gaps Between Generations

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.

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” — Tom Bodett

Measuring happiness is tricky business, more so when taking into account how different regions, cultures, and faiths define it. Nevertheless, the World Happiness Report attempts to distill being happy into a single score out of 10, and then ranks countries by their average score.

We’ve visualized the high-level findings from the latest happiness report in this series of maps. However, the report also dives deeper into other significant trends in the data, such as a growing disparity in happiness between age groups within countries themselves.

In the chart above, we list countries by the biggest gaps in happiness ranks between young adults (<30) and older adults (60+). A higher number indicates a larger gap, and that the youth are far unhappier than their older counterparts.

Where are Youth Unhappier than Older Adults?

Mauritius ranks first on this list, with a massive 57 place gap between older adult and youth happiness. The 1.26 million-inhabited island nation briefly reached high income status in 2020, but the pandemic hit hard, hurting its key tourism sector, and affecting jobs.

The country’s youth unemployment rate spiked to close to 25% that year, but has since been on the decline. Like residents on many similarly-populated islands, the younger demographic often moves abroad in search of more opportunities.

RankCountryYouth Happiness RankOlder Adult
Happiness Rank
Happiness Gap
1🇲🇺 Mauritius852857
2🇺🇸 U.S.621052
3🇨🇦 Canada58850
4🇺🇿 Uzbekistan712249
5🇨🇳 China793049
6🇯🇵 Japan733637
7🇲🇳 Mongolia865333
8🇩🇿 Algeria936231
9🇱🇾 Libya805030
10🇸🇬 Singapore542628
11🇰🇿 Kazakhstan694227
12🇵🇭 Philippines704327
13🇱🇦 Laos1047727
14🇩🇪 Germany472126
15🇪🇸 Spain552926
16🇲🇹 Malta573126
17🇧🇭 Bahrain775126
18🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan815526
19🇲🇷 Mauritania1199326
20🇹🇩 Chad1209426

Conventional wisdom says, and data somewhat correlates, that young adults (those below 30) tend to be the happiest demographic. Happiness then decreases through middle age and starts increasing around 60. However, the above countries are digressing from the pattern, with older generations being much happier than young adults.

That older generations are happier, by itself, is not a bad thing. However, that younger adults are so much unhappier in the same country can point to several unique stresses that those aged below 30 are facing.

For example, in the U.S. and Canada—both near the top of this list—many young adults feel like they have been priced out of owning a home: a once key metric of success.

Climate anxieties are also high, with worries about the future of the world they’ll inhabit. Finally, persistent economic inequities are also weighing on the younger generation, with many in that cohort feeling like they will never be able to afford to retire.

All of this comes alongside a rising loneliness epidemic, where those aged 18–25 report much higher rates of loneliness than the general population.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The World Happiness Report which leverages data from the Gallup World Poll.

Methodology: A nationally representative group of approximately 1,000 people per country are asked to evaluate their life on a scale of 0–10. Scores are averaged across generations per country over three years. Countries are ranked by their scores out of 10.

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