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The Most Populated Country in the World

We recently compiled a list of the 50 Most Populated Countries in the World and in this article, we will look at the most populated country in the world as of 2024.

Trends in Population Growth Across the Globe 

According to data from the United Nations, the global population has increased three fold as compared to the middle of the 20th century, and is expected to continue growing. While there were around 2.5 billion people living in the world in 1950, global population growth added 1 billion people to the total population count since 2010, and 2 billion people since 1998. The global population is anticipated to increase by another 2 billion people in the next 30 years, reaching 9.7 billion by 2050. It is expected to continue increasing, reaching the peak of approximately 10.4 billion people in the middle of the 2080s.

The drastic growth in global population is driven by several pivotal factors, some of which include the gradual expansion of human lifespan, increasing rate of migration, increasing urbanization, and growing fertility rates across certain regions in the world. According to statistics by the United States Census Bureau, which is an official website of the United States government, the five most populous countries in the world are India, China, United States, Indonesia and Pakistan. As of 2024, the population of India stands at 1.441 billion people, while China’s population is estimated to be 1.425 billion people. The third most populous country is the United States, with a population of 341.8 million as of 2024. Indonesia and Pakistan have populations of 279.8 million and 245.2 million people as of the same year, respectively.

Continents With the Most and Least Population Growth 

Estimates by the United Nations show that more than 50% of the global growth in population between now and 2050 is anticipated to occur in Africa. The continent has the highest rate of population growth, with sub-Saharan Africa anticipated to double its population by 2050. In contrast, a majority of European countries are undergoing a sharp decrease in their population. Around 61 countries and areas across the globe are anticipated to undergo a population decrease by 2050, with the fall mounting to at least 10% for around 26 countries. You can also look at 20 Countries with the Lowest Population Growth in the World.

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Other countries are expected to undergo a population decrease of more than 15%, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Japan, Lithuania, Serbia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania. Fertility rates in Europe are undergoing a steep decrease, with all countries standing below the required level of population replacement in the long run. This rate amounts to around 2.1 children per woman, and is a level almost all European countries have yet to reach.

Fertility reduction is likely to have a higher impact on countries with high levels of fertility today. Not only would a sustained fertility level drop in such countries have significant short-term impacts on population age distribution, it will also allow higher investments per child in education, healthcare, and other important services. Several organizations are working to curb population growth and reduce fertility rates. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies that develops and manufactures medicines across various medical domains. It is also one of the several companies actively working to manufacture oral contraceptives, injectable contraceptives, and other women’s healthcare products. The company's Sayana®Press was the first injectable contraceptive in the United Kingdom that could be administered through self-injection.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has also joined hands with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Becton, Dickinson & Company (NYSE:BDX) to expand its commitment to increasing the accessibility of contraceptives across the globe. The partnership will allow increased access to injectable contraceptives to women living in lower or lower middle income countries. The expanded agreement will run through 2030 with the primary objective of delivering around 320 million injectable contraceptive doses manufactured and developed by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE). The partnership intends to maintain the formerly guaranteed cost of $0.85 per unit for purchases made in the public sector in low and lower middle income countries. According to the initial set up of the agreement made in 2014, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) will grow its manufacturing capacity by 65%. In addition, its partners will elevate the number of eligible countries from 69 to 92, thereby including all the low and lower middle income countries as highlighted by the World Bank. The increase will also allow the expanded partnership to spread to several upper-middle income countries, aiming for long term benefits revolving around reduced fertility rates and higher investments per child.

Now that we have taken an overview of the population trends and growth rates, let's look at the most populated country in the world. You can also look at 30 Most Densely Populated Countries in the World in 2024 and 20 Countries with the Largest Urban Population in the World.

50 Most Populated Countries in the World
50 Most Populated Countries in the World

Lakeview Images/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology 

In order to compile a list of the 50 most populated countries in the world, we have used the total population of countries as of 2024 as the primary and sole metric. We sourced the most recent population data from the United Nations Population Fund, which is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. The 50 most populated countries in the world are arranged in ascending order of their population as of 2024.

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The Most Populated Country in the World

1. India

Population as of 2024: 1.441 billion people 

India ranks in the first spot on our list of the 50 most populated countries in the world. Officially known as the Republic of India, the country is only the seventh largest country in the world by area. It surpassed China’s population, becoming the most populous country in the world in June 2023. According to data by the United Nations Population Fund, 68% of the country’s population lies between the ages of 15 and 64. Around 24% of the population lies in the 0-14 age bracket, while 7% are 65 or older. The country’s total fertility rate per woman is 2, and the average life expectancy of a healthy Indian is around 71 years.

Curious to check out other most populated countries in the world? Check out our detailed report on 50 Most Populated Countries in the World.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published on Insider Monkey.