FEB 23, 2019 4:11 PM PST

How big can our global population get?

Our current global population is approximately 7.7 billion humans. But that number is only expected to rise. Scientists predict that we will reach 8.6 billion people by 2030 - in a mere eleven years. But if you look at the statistics, you quickly realize that not all regions of the world are growing. While Asia and Africa are the fasting growing regions, there are some countries, like Japan, Singapore, and Germany, that aren't even reaching replacement fertility rates. 

Within the coming decades, we can expect to see India become the most populous country in the world, overtaking China. Nigeria, too, is an extremely fast-growing population and will likely become the third-most populous nation after India and China. However, one thing to keep in mind is that while developing countries often see higher fertility rates, with women having more children that the global 2.4 average, poor neonatal care and high infant mortality rates mean that high fertility rates don't always transfer directly to fast-growing nations. 

Aging and higher life expectancy also play a huge impact on global populations. Want to find out which countries have the oldest population? Watch the video! 

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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