New York City is the most populous city in the United States. PHOTO/COURTESY
By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Nigeria will overtake the United States to become the third-most populous country in the world by 2050, according to a United Nations report.
The West African nation is projected to surpass the 300 million people mark by 2050, according to The World Population Prospects 2017. Currently Nigeria is the seventh most populous country in the world.
According to the results of the 2017 Revision, the world’s population numbered nearly 7.6 billion as of mid-2017 (table 1), implying that the world has added approximately one billion inhabitants over the last twelve years.
Sixty per cent of the world’s people live in Asia (4.5 billion), 17 per cent in Africa (1.3 billion), 10 per cent in Europe (742 million), 9 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean (646 million), and the remaining 6 per cent in Northern America (361 million) and Oceania (41 million).
China (1.4 billion) and India (1.3 billion) remain the two most populous countries of the world, comprising 19 and 18 per cent of the global total, respectively.
At the global level, the numbers of men and women are roughly equal, with the male population being slightly larger than the female population.
Currently, in 2017, there are 102 men for every 100 women. Thus, in a group of 1,000 people selected at random from the world’s population, 504 would be male and 496 would be female on average. More than half (61 per cent) are adults between 15 and 59 years of age.
The report predicted that the world population will hit a staggering 9.8 billion by 2050, and forecasted that over half of the expected growth between 2017 and 2050 is likely to occur in Africa.
Here are five African countries that will contribute the most to the world’s population growth.
Lagos, the capital of Nigeria. PHOTO/COURTESY
With an estimated population of more than 180 million people, Nigeria experienced annual population growth of about 2.7% between 2010 and 2015, according to the UN.
High fertility rates, high infant mortality rates and the cultural value of large families have all been cited as factors driving Nigeria’s population boom.
Home to four of the world’s fastest-growing cities, it has been described as an economic powerhouse. However, there are fears that such an increase in population could cripple Nigeria’s already inadequate infrastructure.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
Kinshasa, the capital of DRC. PHOTO/COURTESY
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the largest country in Francophone Africa, with annual population growth of 3.2 percent. As in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Afghanistan, high fertility levels have contributed to the country’s population increase. The fertility rate in 2016 was 4.53 births per woman.
The country’s capital, Kinshasa, has the third-largest urban agglomeration on the continent and is predicted to add more than six million people to its population by 2025, cementing its status as an African mega-city.
Aerial view of the city of Addis Ababa at night. PHOTO/SHUTTER STOCK
Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa and the 14th-most populous in the world. It experienced a rate of 2.5% annual population growth between 2010 and 2015.
As well as a population boom, the country has experienced an economic boost and is on target to become a middle-income country by 2025.
Addis Ababa, the country’s capital and largest city, has an important role to play, but the city’s rapid development has led to tensions and accusations of marginalization.
Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’s capital city. PHOTO/COURTESY
From 2010 to 2015, Tanzania experienced an annual population growth rate of 3.2 percent, and its population is predicted to exceed 130 million by 2050.
Early motherhood, high fertility rates and falling mortality rates are some of the reasons given for Tanzania’s population explosion.
According to the African Development Bank, Dar es Salaam, the country’s capital, is expected to grow by 85% from now until 2025. The city is expected to become a mega-city by the 2030s.
Kampala City, the capital of Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY
Uganda has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. Between 2010 and 2015, it experienced an annual population growth rate of 3.3 percent.
As in many African countries, high fertility rates are a major contributing factor to Uganda’s population figures. It has the fifth-highest fertility rate in the world, with women having an average of 5.8 children in 2016.
The World Bank estimates Kampala, the country’s capital, will experience rapid urbanization and the population will increase from six million in 2013 to more than 20 million by 2040.
Additional reporting: CNN