The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, has projected Nigeria to be the world’s third most populous country by the year 2050.
According to the report entitled “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision”, the agency said with such development, Nigeria would overtake the United States in terms of population, just as world population would reach 9.8 billion people.
The report said, “By 2050, the third most populous country will be Nigeria, which currently ranks seventh, and which is poised to replace the United States.
“Among the 10 largest countries of the world, one is in Africa (Nigeria). Nigeria’s population, currently the seventh largest in the world, is growing the most rapidly.
“Consequently, the population of Nigeria is projected to surpass that of the United States shortly before 2050, at which point it would become the third largest country in the world.”
The report also added that in 2050, the populations in six of the 10 largest countries are expected to exceed 300 million.
The countries are China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and United States of America (in alphabetical order). Africa, which has the youngest age distribution of any region, is projected to experience a rapid aging of its population.
“Although the African population will remain relatively young for several more decades, the percentage of its population aged 60 or over is expected to rise from five per cent in 2017 to around nine per cent in 2050, and then to nearly 20 per cent by the end of the century.
“In addition, the birth rates in African countries are likely to ‘at least double’ by 2050,” according to the report.
The report noted that the world population, now at least 7.6 billion, was up from 7.4 billion in 2016, adding that the concentration of global population growth is in the poorest countries.
“With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline.
“At this rate, the world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and surpass 11.2 billion in 2100,” the report further revealed.
The growth is expected to come, in part, from the 47 least developed countries, where the fertility rate is around 4.3 births per woman, and whose population is expected to reach 1.9 billion people in 2050 from the current estimate of one billion.
In terms of migration, “although international migration at or around current levels will be insufficient to compensate fully for the expected loss of population tied to low levels of fertility, especially in the European region, the movement of people between countries can help attenuate some of the adverse consequences of population ageing”.