The latest population projections to 2050 and 2100 show many falls and rises across the countries:
- 2022 saw the world’s population surpassing the 8 billion population (in around mid November). 2050 population forecast is 9.7 billion.
- World’s population has more than tripled since the mid-20th century and doubled in just 48 years. On average, over 130 million new human beings enter the world every year.
- The Asian countries of China and India have topped the rankings of the world’s most populous countries for hundreds of years and are expected to continue to be so, though will switch their ranks soon.
- The United States, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Indonesia are the next most populous countries in 2022, and they are expected to hold onto these spots until 2050. Nigeria’s population is projected to shoot up to 375 million by 2050, almost matching the US population. By 2050, Africa will make up a quarter of the world’s population.
Thanks to Visual Capitalist for infographic, sources and more commentary. The graphics on 2022 and 20250 populations by Truman Du use December 2022 population data from the UN and summaries from the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) to show the unequal rise and fall of the world’s population by 2050.
There are many points to ponder here. What does all this mean for the society? the economy? geopolitics? energy? emissions? Let us take the last two:
- The world’s most populated and fast-growing regions are still highly dependent on energy from fossilfuels🔥. Fossil fuels account for 80% of global energy consumption and over 60% of global electricity⚡consumption).
- Coal accounts for nearly half of the Asia-Pacific region’s energy consumption and 36% of global energy use. Oil and gas still dominate energy consumption in Europe, the Americas, and other regions.
- Around 10% (775 million) of world population are without access to electricity.
However, all hopes are not lost as the world’s efforts are delivering results on energy transition 🌈and sustainability ☘ towards net zero and decarbonization targets 🎯 by 2030 and 2050:
- Solar ☀️and wind 💨energy share in electricity mix has increased from less than 1% in 2000 to over 9% in 2021 and overall renewables including hydropower 💧from 20% to around 30% in last 10 years.
- Experience from some developed countries is showing that higher economic growth and living standards can be achieved without proportionate increase in energy consumption and emissions per capita.
- People without access to electricity have declined from more than 1.5 billion (or 30% of world’s total population at that time) in 1990 to around 0.76 billion (around 10% of the global population) in 2021.