It is forecast that in around 70 years from now that the population of Spain will shrink by at least half
10-minute read: The end of this century will see great changes in the distribution of the world’s population. To start with, China will no longer be the most populous country (India will be), the Congo and other African nations will shoot up their inhabitants exponentially, and Spain, for example, will lose half of its residents to stay at 23 million, compared to the current 46 million.
These are the trends pointed out by scientists in successive studies that coincide with the same criterion: there will be a population increase from now on and for a few decades, but then humanity will be greatly reduced in number.
According to experts taking an environmental point of view, this reduction will cause a general decrease in the impacts suffered by the planet, but at the same time, it will pose other challenges: how to properly maintain and care for a growing aging population and a large reduction in the workforce for example.
In total, the world’s population will likely peak at 9.7 billion in 2064 and then decline to about 8.8 billion by the end of the century, as women have better access to education and contraception. This is according to a study published by The Lancet in 2020, which was later corroborated by other scientists from around the world.
By 2100, 183 of 195 countries will not have the fertility rate required to maintain their current population, according to researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine. In this graph you can see how the population will vary, country by country.
Some 23 countries, including Japan, Thailand, Italy, and Spain, will see their populations reduced by more than 50%, said researchers.
2022 World Population by Country: World Population Review
The US Census Bureau’s world population clock estimated that the global population as of September 2022 was 7,922,312,800 people and was expected to reach 8 billion by mid-November of 2022. This total far exceeds the 2015 world population of 7.2 billion. The world’s population continues to increase by roughly 140 people per minute, with births outweighing deaths in most countries.
Overall, however, the rate of population growth has been slowing for several decades. This slowdown is expected to continue until the rate of population growth reaches zero (an equal number of births and deaths) around 2080-2100, at a population of approximately 10.4 billion people. After this time, the population growth rate is expected to turn negative, resulting in global population decline.
Countries with more than 1 billion people: World Population Review
China is currently the most populous country in the world, with a population estimated at more than 1.42 billion as of September 2022. Only one other country in the world boasts a population of more than 1 billion people: India, whose population is estimated to be 1.41 billion people—and rising.
While India’s population is projected to continue to grow until at least the year 2050, China’s population is currently contracting slightly. This contraction, coupled with India’s continued growth, is expected to result in India replacing China as the most populous country in the world by the year 2030.
Countries with more than 100 million people
Another 12 countries each have populations that exceeded 100 million people as of September 2022:
While Russia and Japan will see their populations decline significantly by 2050, the rest of these nations are expected to continue growing until at least 2050. Additionally, two additional countries, DR Congo and Vietnam, have more than 99 million people and should soon reach the 100 million mark.
Countries with fewer than 100 million people
As shown in the live-updating population table below, the overwhelming majority of the world’s countries have fewer than 100 million people—substantially fewer, in some cases. The smallest country in the world in terms of both population and total area is Vatican City, where barely 500 people reside.
|Population range||# of countries|
|1 billion or more||2|
|100 million to 999.9 million||12|
|10 million to 99.9 million||80|
|1 million to 9.9 million||66|
|less than 1 million||74|
Rates of population growth around the world
The world’s population continues to increase, with approximately 140 million babies born every year. According to the United Nations’ 2022 World Population Prospects report, the global population is projected to reach 8.5 billion people by the year 2030, 9.7 billion people by 2050, and 10.4 billion people by 2080, where it will remain until 2100.
While the world’s total population is expected to continue to rise until roughly 2100, the rate at which the population is rising has been slowly decreasing for decades. In 2020, the global population growth rate fell below one percent for the first time since 1950. This decrease continues a trend begun in the 1970s, in which the population growth rate shows a consistent decrease when measured in five-year increments.
The rate of population growth varies greatly from one country or region to another. More than half of the world’s expected population growth between now and 2050 is expected to come from just eight countries: DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania. Particularly of interest is India, which is on track to overtake China’s position as the most populous country by the year 2030. Additionally, multiple nations within Africa are expected to double their populations in the coming decades as fertility rates and birth rates rise thanks in part to advancements in medical care and decreased infant mortality and malnutrition.
Life expectancy and its impact on the world population
Global life expectancy has also improved in recent years, rising to 72.8 years in 2019—almost 9 years longer than in 1990. Global life expectancy is projected to continue to increase, reaching 77.2 years by the year 2050. Significant factors impacting the data on life expectancy include expectations regarding mankind’s ability to reduce the impact of AIDS/HIV and other infectious and non-communicable diseases.
As a result of the increase in global life expectancy, the majority of the world’s countries are undergoing considerable growth in the number of residents over the age of 65. The percentage of over-65 residents in the world’s population is projected to rise from 10% in 2022 to 16% in 2050. This total will be roughly twice the number of children under age 5 and equal to the number of children under age 12. This imbalance can put considerable strain on a country’s economy and infrastructure, as it can lead to a shortage of working-age individuals entering the workforce to take the place of those who are retiring.
Life expectancy has a significant impact on the ability of the population to maintain what is called a replacement rate, in which the country’s death rate is balanced or exceeded by its birth rate. In countries whose birth rates are either deliberately low or unintentionally so, the death rate may be higher, resulting in overall population decline. Although population decline can be desirable in certain circumstances, it can also create economic challenges and is more often viewed as undesired.
Challenges inherent in population estimates
Although population projections such as the US Census Bureau’s World Population Clock utilize the most accurate and up-to-date data available, they are nonetheless still estimated. Unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 pandemic or Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine can have a powerful, but impossible-to-anticipate impact on population trends.
Even in the absence of such disruptions, the process of tracking the exact number of births and deaths in every country and territory in the world in real-time—and maintaining a precise tally of the number of people alive on the Earth at any given moment—is logistically infeasible. Instead, modern population scientists use sophisticated mathematical models to create detailed estimates and projections, which the world’s countries can use to plan for future generations.