India is forecast to overtake China as the most populous country in the world within a decade, according to a United Nations report.
China and India combined currently account for 38 per cent of the world’s population, with 1.43 billion and 1.37 billion people respectively.
However, India is projected to overtake China by 2027, according to the UN’s 2019 World Population Prospects report.
The change is expected to come about as a result of the death rate exceeding the birth rate in China, whose population is projected to fall by 31.4 million between 2019 and 2050.
Meanwhile, India’s population is forecast to increase to 1.5 billion.
The UN report also predicts the planet’s population will increase to 9.7 billion people by 2050, and up to about 11 billion by the end of the century.
Within the next 30 years, India and China are expected to be followed by Nigeria with 733 million people, after it pushes the US from third to fourth place with 434 million people, while Pakistan will remain the fifth largest with 404 million.
The population of sub-Saharan Africa was expected to double by 2050.
The nine countries expected to show the biggest increases were: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the US.
Liu Zhenmin, the UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, said: “Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges in the effort to eradicate poverty, achieve greater equality, combat hunger and malnutrition and strengthen the coverage and quality of health and education systems to ensure that no one is left behind.”