Where in the World is Population Growing the Most?

This is a more complex question than it might look like at first. The country that is projected to see the most growth between now and 2050 is India. The population of India in 2014 is 1,236,345,000; the projection for 2050 is a population of 1,656,554,000. If that projection is met, India will have added just over 420 million people during the aforementioned timeframe.

But it is important to distinguish total growth (or who will add the most individuals) from growth rate (or how quickly the individuals are being added). India’s growth rate is 1.5%, only 0.3 points above the growth rate for the entire world, and other countries are growing much faster. For example, the growth rate in Niger is much higher at 3.8% and in Guatemala it is 2.6%. But the reason India is adding more total people is that it is starting with such a large base, almost 1.2 billion. Therefore, even a slower growth rate will still result in a larger addition of people.

The five countries that are projected to have the most total growth by 2050 are:

  1. India – projected increase of 420 million people
  2. Nigeria – projected increase of 214 million people
  3. Ethiopia – projected increase of 131 million people
  4. Pakistan – projected increase of 95 million people
  5. Bangladesh – projected increase of 84 million people

Globally, population is projected to increase from 7.2 billion people in 2014 to 9.4 billion people in 2050. This means that 2.2 billion more people would be living on the planet in 36 years. Of these additional people, 944 million people are expected to live in one of the five countries listed above. And if that’s the case, out of the 196 countries in the world, these five countries would account for 43% of the world’s growth.

Sources: US Census Bureau, International Data Base