Nigeria ’ s population is expected to surpass that of China by 2100, a new study suggests.
China, which is currently the most populous nation in the world , is expected to peak at 1 . 4 billion in four years time before nearly halving to 732 million by 2100 while India will become the world ’ s most populous nation .
The study predicts that within the same period , Nigeria ’ s population will hit 791 million , making it the second- largest country in the world .
The research which was conducted by the University of Washington ’ s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation states that the general population of the world will drop due to a reduction in fertility rates .
However , the population of sub – Saharan Africa – arguably the poorest region in the world – is expected to triple in size to more than three billion people by 2100.
In an interview with BBC , researcher , Prof. Christopher Murray, said the population boom in sub – Saharan Africa would lead to migration of Africans to many European and Asian countries in need of higher population.
This , he said , would , however , lead to a high incidence of racism .
Murray, who is a former Director of the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies , said , “ We will have many more people of African descent in many more countries as we go through this .
“ Global recognition of the challenges around racism are going to be all the more critical if there are large numbers of people of African descent in many countries . ”
According to the research , falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century .
The number of children under the age of five will fall from 681 million in 2017 to 401 million in 2100 .
Conversely , the number of over 80 – year -olds will soar from 141 million in 2017 to 866 million within the same period .
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About 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.
This also implies that countries would age dramatically , with as many people turning 80 as there are being born .
The fertility rate is dropping because women are getting better education and spending more time working coupled with greater access to contraceptives .
If the number falls below approximately 2 . 1 , then the size of the population starts to fall.
In 1950 , women were having an average of 4 . 7 children in their lifetime .
The research showed that the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2 . 4 in 2017 – and their study , published in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1 . 7 by 2100.
As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9 . 7 billion around 2064 , before falling down to 8 . 8 billion by the end of the century .
Japan ’ s population is projected to fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century . Similarly, Italy is expected to see an equally dramatic population crash from 61 million to 28 million over the same timeframe .
About 21 other countries including Spain , Portugal , Thailand and South Korea are expected to see their population drop by half .
The population of the United Kingdom is predicted to peak at 75 million in 2063, and fall to 71 million by 2100 .
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