Skip to navigationSkip to content
GROWING BIG

India is set to surpass China in 2023 as the world’s most populous nation

REUTERS/Danish Ismail
But what’s the use?
Published Last updated

The year 2023 is when India is likely to surpass China as the world’s most populous country, the UN has said.

In 2021, India’s population was 1.412 billion, compared to China’s 1.426 billion and by 2050, it’s expected to increase at a much higher rate.

The global population, a UN report says (pdf), is projected to reach 8 billion on November 15, 2022. Its projections suggest that this number could be around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.

“Population growth is caused in part by declining levels of mortality, as reflected in increased levels of life expectancy at birth. Globally, life expectancy reached 72.8 years in 2019, an increase of almost 9 years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are projected to result in average longevity of around 77.2 years globally in 2050,” the report stated.

More than half of the projected increase in global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. Disparate growth rates among the world’s largest countries will re-order their ranking by size.

Interestingly, India was among the 10 countries that saw a net outflow of population exceeding a million more than the period 2010-21. India saw 3.5 million leaving the country, mostly as part of a temporary labour movement. Pakistan topped the category with 16.5 million. For countries like Syria, and Myanmar, the reason for the outflow was insecurity and conflict.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.