By 2050, two new sub-Saharan African countries will join the ranks of the world’s top ten most populous countries, led by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. At this century’s midpoint, Nigeria will be the world’s third most populous country. African populations will continue to surge into the end of the 21st century as populations fall elsewhere in the world, including in China.
India will remain the world’s most populous country, having reached that status by the mid-2020s. And while China will retain its position at second, its population will decline from 1.44 billion in 2030 to 1.36 billion in 2050.
The population gap between Bangladesh and Pakistan will have widened further. In 1988, the populations of both countries were roughly the same: 100 million. By 2017, Pakistan’s population rose to 197 million, while the population of Bangladesh, as a result of a national family planning program, reached 165 million, rising at a much slower pace. By 2050, the impact of family planning in Bangladesh will become even more visible, as Pakistan’s population will grow to 307 million—about fifty percent larger than that of Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, Europe’s population will continue to age. Its population over the age of 60 will reach 35 percent, up from 25 percent in 2017.
Here is a projection of the world’s most populous countries in 2050, according to a United Nations forecast made in 2017.