Is 21st Century Urbanisation Out Of Control?

Much of the overall increase in population between now and 2050 is projected to occur either in high fertility countries, mostly in Africa, or in countries with large populations. From 2017 to 2050, it is expected that half of the world’s population growth will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda and Indonesia. The new projections include some notable findings at the country level. For example, in roughly seven years, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China. Currently, the population of China is approximately 1.41 billion compared with 1.34 billion in India. In 2024, both countries are expected to have roughly 1.44 billion people. After that, India’s population is projected to continue growing for several decades to around 1.5 billion in 2030 and approaching 1.66 billion in 2050, while the population of China is expected to remain stable until the 2030s, after which it may begin a slow decline. Among the ten largest countries of the world, one is in Africa (Nigeria), five are in Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan), two are in Latin America (Brazil and Mexico), one is in Northern America (United States of America), and one is in Europe (Russian Federation). Amongst these, Nigeria’s population, currently the seventh largest in the world, is growing the most rapidly. Consequently, the population of Nigeria is projected to surpass that of the United States shortly before 2050, at which point it would become the third largest country in the world. In 2050, the populations in six of the ten largest countries are expected to exceed 300 million: China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and United States of America. Credit: UN World Population Prospects 2017 Revision.

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