Nigeria Will Have More People Than the United States by 2050

How It Works
Jan. 30 2014 12:53 PM

Nigeria Will Have More People Than the United States by 2050

94984448-people-walk-struggling-for-space-between-public
Traffic in Lagos is only going to get worse.

Photo by Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

The most important demographic story over the next few decades could be Nigeria. From a new Pew Research Global Attitudes Project report about attitudes toward aging around the world:

India, it is projected, will secure global demographic primacy by 2050. The population of India is expected to increase by more than 400 million from 2010 to 2050, to 1.6 billion. Meanwhile, the population of China may increase by only 25 million, remaining at about 1.4 billion. The U.S. is projected to add 89 million residents by 2050. However, the U.S. is likely to be displaced by Nigeria as the third most populous country. In 2050, India alone may be home to nearly as many people as China and the U.S. combined.
Advertisement

All in all, Nigeria’s population is projected to grow about 176 percent, moving it from the seventh-most-populous country in the world to the third. By 2050, 25 percent of the world’s population will live in Africa, up from 15 percent in 2010.

Populations are aging rapidly almost everywhere, but nowhere as rapidly as in East Asia. The median age in Japan—already the oldest country in the world – is expected to increase from 45 to 53 by 2050. South Korea could catch up, increasing from 38 to 53.

Not surprisingly, Pew’s survey data show those two countries have the highest number of people describing an aging population as a “major problem.”

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Behold
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 1:11 PM This Company Wants to Fight World Hunger With Flies 
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 1:01 PM Can Activists Save Reyhaneh Jabbari?  
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 1:13 PM The Essence of Gender Roles in Action Movies, in One Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.