Indian passengers stand and hang on to a train departing from a railway station on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Money Sharma | AFP | Getty Images
The world population hit 8 billion people on Tuesday and India is expected to overtake China as the most populous country next year, according to United Nations forecasts.
The world’s population has more than tripled since 1950 as mortality has fallen and life expectancy has increased, thanks in large part to better sanitation, access to safe drinking water and the development of vaccines and antibiotics, as well as improved nutrition.
Between 1990 and 2019, life expectancy at birth increased by almost nine years to 72 years, according to the UN. However, due to high infant and maternal mortality rates, people in the poorest countries died about seven years earlier than the global average. War and the HIV epidemic.
Life expectancy fell by a year to 71 years in 2021, in large part due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, people born in 2050 are expected to live to an average age of 77.
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Although humankind is larger than ever, the world’s population is now growing at its slowest rate since 1950 as families have fewer children. According to the UN projections, the population is expected to peak at 10.4 billion in the 2080s and remain at that level into the 2100s.
Two-thirds of people now live in countries where women on average have about two children, compared to five children in 1950. According to the UN, the global population of people aged 65 and over is projected to increase by 6% by 2050
Just eight countries will account for half of world population growth by 2050, and they are mostly concentrated in Africa and South Asia: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
The two most populous regions of the world in 2022 were South and East Asia, and China and India made up the majority of the people in these regions, with 1.4 billion people each. Although China has a larger population than any other country in the world, its population will start falling as early as 2023 and India will overtake it.