Although Asia presently dominates the rankings in terms of overall population numbers, Africa’s expanding population numbers are frequently underestimated. Here’s how the global population grew over 300 years.
Our worldwide population has increased by more than 700% since the 1800s, from 984 million to approximately 8 billion.
What is anticipated for the rest of the century, and which geographical areas have exhibited this growth? This animated visualization by James Eagle, which Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang describes in more detail below, depicts 300 years of population growth. It includes both historical data and predictions through the year 2100.
Asia’s Current Dominance
For centuries, Asia has harbored upwards of half of the world’s individuals. At times throughout history, the region has accounted for approximately 70% of the world’s population.
Here are the figures for 2021 and a comparison of the populations of each region:
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The main population centers in Asia historically have been China and India, with China taking the lead. China’s population was almost twice as large as India’s in the 1950s, although the difference has fluctuated over time.
As China’s population continued to rise, the government faced challenges in scaling up food production and infrastructure. In an attempt to contain the problem, the Chinese government implemented a one-child policy in 1979.
The initiative, which concluded in 2016, had a lot of unforeseen consequences, although it was eventually successful in curbing the country’s population increase. India is now expected to surpass China as the world’s most populated country as soon as 2023.
Africa’s Growing Piece of the Pie
Although Asia presently dominates the rankings in terms of overall population numbers, Africa’s expanding population numbers are frequently underestimated.
Despite having less people overall than Asia, the continent will soon have the greatest working-age population in the globe, which might have a significant impact on the international economy in the years to come.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country, is driving this expansion. Nigeria is expected to be the world’s third most populous country by 2050, with megacities like Lagos (metro population: 21 million) and a total population of around 217 million people. Nigeria’s rapid growth can be attributed in large part to its high birth rate, which is about double the global average.