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India is set to overtake China in 2023 as the world’s most populous nation, the United Nations says

  • A new United Nations report says India’s population will likely overtake China’s by 2023.
  • Both have hit 1.4 billion people, although China’s population is expected to reduce by 2050.
  • Meanwhile, the world’s population is likely to reach 8 billion by November, per the UN.

India is expected to become the world’s most populous country in 2023, beating out China, according to a United Nations report.

Both countries have current populations of over 1.4 billion people, the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs stated in a Monday prospects report.

However, UN figures show that while China’s population grew from 1.14 billion in 1990 to 1.43 billion in 2022, India’s population has boomed from 861 million to 1.412 billion over the same period.

China, which is facing an impending population crisis, is expected to have a smaller population of 1.32 billion people by 2050. By then, India’s population is projected to hit 1.67 billion people.

The world’s population is also expected to grow to 8 billion people by November, per the report. While global population growth is now at its slowest rate since 1950, the world is still expected to hit a peak of 10.4 billion people by the 2080s.

Meanwhile, the US is expected to remain the world’s third-most populous country up to 2050, growing to 375 million people, when it will share the spot with Nigeria.

The report noted that fertility rates were falling worldwide, even in countries with growing populations. This was explained by the fact that while more people in these areas had babies, each person also had fewer children.

The UN also wrote that population growth up to 2050 would be concentrated in eight particular countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania.

The countries that would likely see their populations reduced by at least 20% are Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, and Ukraine, the report added.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said reaching the 8 billion global population mark is an “occasion to celebrate” but also a “reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”

“Reaching a global population of 8 billion is a numerical landmark, but our focus must always be on people,” he wrote in a statement accompanying the report. “In the world we strive to build, 8 billion people means 8 billion opportunities to live dignified and fulfilled lives.”

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