Prelims cum Mains Social Issues

India to be most populous by 2027: UN


In News

  • The 2019 Revision of World Population Prospects, the twenty-sixth round of official United Nations population estimates and projections, has been published.
  • It’s been prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.

Image result for population prospect 2019 by un

In focus: World Population Prospects 2019


  • The global demographic megatrends include
  1. Population Growth
  2. Population Ageing
  3. Migration and
  4. Urbanisation
  • The World Population Prospects projects trends in two of these global demographic megatrends namely population growth and population ageing.
  • Besides, it also elaborates trends in human fertility, mortality, and international migration.
  • The World Population Prospects 2019 presents population projections to the year 2100 at the global, regional and country levels.


  • It acts as the empirical base for monitoring global progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030.
  • The future demographic trends can be act as aid to policy makers to frame future development policies.


Key Highlights of WPP 2019

Demographic megatrend 1: Population Growth

  • General Trends
    • The world population will continue to grow from 7.7 billion currently to 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100.
    • The world population growth rate has dropped to 1.1% per year during 2015-2020 from peak levels of 2.1% during 1965-70.
  • Region-wise
    • Currently, East & Southeast Asia and Central & Southern Asia are the 2 most populous regions of the world with 2.3 billion and 2.0 billion people respectively.
    • This is set to change with sub-Saharan Africa set to become the most populous region by 2062.
    • Sub-Saharan African alone will account for 1 billion additions in the world population by 2050.
    • About 25% will be accounted by Central and Southern Asia including (India) between 2019 and 2050.
    • East and Southeast Asia, Central and South Asia will peak around 2065 and will start to decline before 2100.
    • Europe and Northern America have already stabilized their population size to about 1 billion which will grow to just 1.14 billion around 2042 and decline thereafter to about 1.12 billion at the end of the century.
    • Latin America and the Caribbean will peak to about 770 million around 2058 and decline thereafter to less than 700 million in 2100.
    • Australia and New Zealand will grow from 30 million currently to 38 million in 2050 and 49 million in 2100.
  • Indian scenario
    • India will add about 273 million people between 2019 and 2050.
    • India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country around 2027.
  • Highest growth rates
    • 47 least developed countries will post a high population growth rate
    • 18 of these LDCs in Sub-Saharan Africa will witness doubling of population size by 2050 with Niger nearly tripling by 2050.
    • More than half of the increase in the global population will be concentrated in only 9 countries including India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and USA


Various factors causing population changes

Population momentum

  • The current population structure of the world is dominated by young population which will enter the reproductive age and account for 68% of the population growth between 2020 and 2050.

Fall in fertility levels

  • The slowing growth rate is due to reduced fertility levels from 2.5 births per woman in 2019 to around 2.2 in 2050 and further to 1.9 in 2100.



Demographic megatrend 2: Population Ageing

  • People aged above 65 belong to the fastest growing age group globally with 1 in 6 people above 65 by 2050 from current 1 in 11.
  • The working age population of the world is set to shrink.
  • Further, for the first time, in 2018 the 65 and above age group have surpassed the under five category.
  • By 2050, almost 50 countries are expected to have less than two working-age people to support every person above 65.


  • Requires enhanced social protection system
  • The proportion of working-age people supporting ageing population will become low.
  • The labour market, and thus productivity, will be reduced.
  • In addition, the need for public health care, pensions etc will add fiscal pressure on the governments world over.

Indian scenario

  • In India, on the other hand, the working-age population (25-64 years) is growing faster than other groups which will peak in 2047.(Demographic dividend)
  • Further, the under-5 population in India outnumbers above-65 group.
  • However, it will change between 2025 and 2030.
  • By 2050, above-65 group will constitute 1/7th of India’s population.

Life expectancy

  • Globally, the life expectancy will increase from 64.2 years in 1990 to 77.1 years in 2050.
  • Currently, India’s life expectancy at birth is 69 years compared to world average of 72 years.
  • The lower than average life expectancy is prevalent in LDCs due to high IMR and MMR, conflict and insecurity, and HIV epidemic.
%d bloggers like this: