World's top 10 highest population countries as India set to overtake China’s population in 2022

“India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country during 2023,” according to the U.N. report published this week. But which countries have the highest population?

The latest projections from the United Nations show that the global population could reach 8 billion in 2022, and see India surpass China as the world’s most populous country.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted the “shared responsibility to care for our planet,” that must be considered in light of the impacts such a large population could cause.

The U.N. Report: India will surpass China’s population in 2023

According to reports from the United Nations, India now hosts well over 1.4 billion people.

The report, from the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division, said India and China are both home to over 1.4 billion people currently.

However, it also said “India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country during 2023.”

This is a rapid development from the numbers we saw in 2011 when the Indian government census revealed a population of roughly 1.2 billion.

Furthermore, “the global human population will reach 8.0 billion in mid-November 2022 from an estimated 2.5 billion people in 1950”, the U.N. report says.

John Wilmoth, director of the U.N. Population Division, said at a news conference that the world population reaching 8 billion in November 15 is an estimation, he said “we do not pretend that that’s the actual date … and we think that the uncertainty is at least plus or minus a year.”

Why is India overtaking China as the world’s most populous country?

In 2020, China released a once-in-a-decade census that revealed their population grew by its slowest pace to reach over 1.4 billion.

This allowed it to maintain its state as the most populous country despite official estimates that their population numbers may start to decline.

China recorded 12 million births which marked a drop in the fertility rate for a fourth consecutive year.

It was reported that China’s total fertility rate of women of childbearing age was 1.3, which is somewhat low.

However, this could be cultural as a knock-off effect of China’s stringent one-child policy that was only scrapped in 2016.

Meanwhile, India sits closer to a fertility rate of 2.2 - which may partly explain them overtaking China’s population.

Will the global population continue to rapidly increase?

The astonishing statistics continue as the U.N.’s latest projections showed the global population could reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and 10.4 billion by 2100.

In 2021, the U.N. said that the global population’s “average fertility” was approximately 2.3 births per woman across their lifetime.

This is almost 3 babies less than the average mother in 1950 who would have 5 births.

“Global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.1 births per woman by 2050,” according to Monday’s report.

Which 10 countries have the largest population in 2022?

In descending order, the planet’s top ten populated countries (and the number of their residents) are as follows:

China (1,448,607,009)

India (1,407,050,591)

United States (334,865,851)

Indonesia (279,222,632)

Pakistan (229,624,653)

Nigeria (216,916,861)

Brazil (215,396,687)

Bangladesh (167,935,554)

Russia (145,803,083)

Mexico (131,604,024)

This data was extracted from the World Population Review which is updated live.

Will other countries’ populations see massive growth?

According to the U.N., the United States is predicted to remain the third-most populous country in the world by 2050, remaining behind China and India.

Nigeria will move up to the fourth spot, followed by Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, Congo, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

Countries like Russia and Mexico, which are currently on the top 10 most populous countries list, are expected to lose their spots by 2050.

However, population numbers are also expected to drastically change in smaller countries.

Wilmoth said “countries with at least half a million population, the largest relative reductions in population size over that period, with losses of 20 percent or more, are expected to take place in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Ukraine.”

You can read the United Nations’ full report entitled “World Population Prospects 2022” on their website.