As of today (November 15) the global population is estimated at over eight billion people – an event dubbed ‘a sign of human success’.
This is up a whole billion people ten years ago, and the planet is only expected to get more crowded in the decades to come.
But which countries have the most people in their borders – and where does the UK rank?
Here is everything you need to know about the world’s most-populated countries.
What country has the biggest population in the world?
Statistics from Worldometer show that China is the most heavily-populated country in the world, with a population of almost 1.43 billion people.
India is a close second with 1.38 billion – but it may feel more packed than China due to its chart-topping population density. There are approximately 464 people in India for each square kilometre of land.
The birth rates in both countries are declining (the average Chinese woman gives birth to 1.7 children a year and in India it’s 2.2) for a range of reasons including increased cost of living and delayed marriages in China and rapid industrialisation and improvements in women’s rights in India.
The the net migration rates are also in the minus, with more people leaving the countries than coming in. Despite this, these two nations are projected to lead population charts for a while to come and India is on course to overtake China by next year.
10 most-populated countries in the world
According to Worldometer, the top ten most-populated countries are as follows:
- China – 1.43 billion
- India – 1.38 billion
- United States – 331 million
- Indonesia – 273 million
- Pakistan – 221 million
- Brazil – 212 million
- Nigeria – 206 million
- Bangladesh – 165 million
- Russia – 146 million
- Mexico – 129 million
What country has the fastest growing population?
The country with the fastest growing population in the world is South Sudan – which grew by over 5% in 2021.
This is unsurprising since it’s also the newest country in the world. Since its founding in 2011, the South Sudanese population has grown from 9.8 million to 11.5 million today.
Burundi and Niger are second and third and the following seven fastest growing national populations are in Africa as well. The disproportionate effects of the climate crisis and economic stagnation worldwide could see these countries struggle to adapt to their rapidly growing populace.
What is the UK population?
The UK’s population currently sits at 68.5 million and is steadily on the rise.
We may be just a tiny collection of Islands but we’re mighty in numbers, ranking at number 21 in the list of most populated countries.
Just under 1% of the world’s population currently lives in Britain – this sounds small, but it’s huge compared compared to Australia, for example, which has much bigger land mass but hosts just 0.3% of all the world’s people.
Birth rates in the UK peaked in 2012 and have been declining ever since.
Almost 20% of the population is 65 or older and the number of British octogenarians is set to double in the next 25 years, putting further strain on our health and social care systems.
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