International Organization

Summary of the 2017 Revision of the World Population Prospects

Related Research Program
Information Analysis


According to the World Population Prospects: 2017 Revision, released by the United Nations on June 21, 2017, the world population, currently 7.6 billion, is projected to reach 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion by 2050, and 11.2 billion by 2100, due to population growth of about 83 million people per year.

Based on the new population projections, the ranking of China (1.4 billion, 19% of the world's population) and India (1.3 billion, 18% of the world's population) will reverse by 2024, with India's population surpassing China's. Among the current top 10 countries, Nigeria's population growth is projected to be remarkable, overtaking the U.S. by 2050 to become the world's third most populous country from its current position of seventh. Between 2017 and 2050, half of the world's population growth will come from India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, and Indonesia.

In the 47 least developed countries (LDCs), population grew at an annual rate of 2.4% in 2010-2015, reflecting relatively high fertility rates of 4.3 children per woman. Although fertility rates in these countries are projected to decline gradually in the coming decades, the population of the least developed countries, which stood at 1 billion in 2017, is expected to grow by 33% to 1.9 billion by 2050. In particular, 26 African countries are expected to at least double their population between 2017 and 2050. The fact that population growth is concentrated in the poorest countries poses a major challenge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, which include the eradication of poverty and hunger, the expansion of education and health systems, gender equality and the elimination of inequalities. Globally, the pace of population growth is gradually slowing due to declining fertility rates. In 83 countries, representing 46% of the world's population, fertility rates are below the level needed to renew the next generation (2.1 per woman).  Even in Africa, which has one of the highest fertility rates in the world, the fertility rate per woman declined from 5.1 in 2000-2005 to 4.7 in 2010-2015. The exception is Europe, where the fertility rate per woman increased from 1.4 in 2000-2005 to 1.6 in 2010-2015. While the global fertility trend is declining, the world, including Africa, is experiencing an increase in life expectancy and an aging population. The socio-economic impact of aging will be significant, and governments will face fiscal and political pressures to expand health care, pensions and social security. The trend of large-scale migration from low- and middle-income developing countries to high-income developed countries is also expected to continue: 3.2 million people moved from developing to high-income countries each year in 2010-2015, although down from 4.5 million per year in 2005-2010. In particular, 4.2 million Syrians moved to neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan in 2010-2015, with a significant socio-economic impact on the host countries.

For more detailed information, please refer to the original data ( or to the original report at

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP/248.

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Research Strategy Office)

Related Pages