India is set to overtake China to become the world’s most populous country in six years less than the earlier expected time period, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
The UN also predicted that Nigeria would overtake United States by about 2050 to become the country with the third largest population.
China and India, the world’s two largest nations in terms of population, each have over 1 billion people and are likely to switch places by 2022- six years earlier than the projected forecast. However, in seven years, the population of both these countries is expected to reach 1.4 billion.
The report said India’s population will grow for decades, to 1.5 billion in 2030 and 1.7 billion in 2050, while China’s population is expected to remain more-or-less constant until the 2030s, when it is expected to slightly decrease.
Experts also predicted that Africa will account for more than half the world’s population growth in the next 35 years.
Future population growth is highly dependent on factors such as future fertility, as relatively small changes in fertility can cause large differences in total population, the report said.
Globally, life expectancy has risen to 68 years for men and 73 years for women in 2010-15, from 65 years for men and 69 years for women in 2000-05.
The report added that life expectancy is projected to rise to 77 years in 2045-50 and 83 years in 2095-2100, from 70 years in 2010-2015.