June 5, 2023

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China to overtake China as most populous country in 2023 – UN

File photo. People shop at a crowded market amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kolkata, India. January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI, July 11 (Reuters) – India will overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by 2023, with both countries already having more than 1.4 billion people this year, a United Nations report warned on Monday. High fertility affects economic growth.

The world population, estimated to reach 8 billion on November 15 this year, could grow to 8.5 billion by 2030 and 10.4 billion by 2100, according to a report released on World Population Day.

India’s population was 1.21 billion in 2011, according to the national census conducted once every ten years. The government has postponed the 2021 census due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to UN estimates, the world population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, falling below 1% in 2020.

In 2021, the average fertility rate of the world population was 2.3 births per woman per lifetime, down from about 5 births in 1950. Global fertility is projected to decline to 2.1 births per woman in 2050.

“This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at the advances in health that have extended life expectancy and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

However, population growth reminds us of our shared responsibility to care for the planet and “reflects areas where we are not yet fulfilling our mutual obligations,” he said.

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The UN report refers to an earlier report by the World Health Organization that estimated around 14.9 million deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic between January 2020 and December 2021, with life expectancy at birth falling from 72.8 years to 71 years in 2021. In 2019, mainly due to the pandemic.

The United Nations has indicated that more than half of the increase in the world’s population by 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.

Sub-Saharan African countries are expected to contribute more than half of the projected increase by 2050.

However, the population of 61 countries is projected to decline by 1% or more between 2022 and 2050, driven by declining fertility.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing in Spanish by Benjamin Mejias Valencia)