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  1. #1
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    Fun With Global Demography

    So I was playing around with data sets from the UN's World Population Prospects publication, 2012 ed., which is the sort of thing you do when you have no life or friends, and I thought I'd share some of my more interesting findings in case others are similarly handicapped.

    First, let's take a look at the list of states that are projected in 2100 to contain at least 1% of the total global population of approximately 10.8 billion people:

    1. India 1547m (14.3%)
    2. China 1086m (10%)
    3. Nigeria 914m (8.4%)
    4. United States 462m (4.3%)
    5. Indonesia 315m (2.9%)
    6. Tanzania 276m (2.5%)
    7. Pakistan 263m (2.4%)
    8. Congo 262m (2.4%)
    9. Ethiopia 243m (2.2%)
    10. Uganda 205m (1.9%)
    11. Niger 204m (1.9%)
    12. Brazil 195m (1.8%)
    13. Philippines 188m (1.7%)
    14. Bangladesh 182m (1.7%)
    15. Kenya 160m (1.5%)
    16. Mexico 140m (1.3%)
    17. Egypt 135m (1.2%)
    18. Zambia 124m (1.1%)
    19. Sudan 116m (1.1%)
    20. Mozambique 112m (1%)
    21. Iraq 106m (1%)
    22. Madagascar 105m (1%)

    There are several interesting things for us here. First of all: Nigeria being right up there with China. And actually, if you extend the projection a little further (to 2114, say, a nice round century) Nigeria may well overtake China as the world's second largest nation. As Keanu Reeves once said: woah.

    Of course, Nigeria may well not be around a century from now, having been nailed together from three distinct cultures for Britain's administrative convenience, and having never really gotten over it. So, that's one of the uncertainties we have to deal with in such projections. But actually it doesn't matter so much because -- surprise -- the Nigerian demographic miracle (or nightmare) turns out not to be confined to national borders. West Africa in general is absolutely exploding with people (as is the rest of the continent, more on that later) so whatever state structures do exist at the time are going to be home to an awful lot of people. Indeed, just as conceivable as national dissolution is a process of unification or expansion giving rise to an India-beating West African superstate.

    But impressive as Nigeria is, the greatest proportional increase relative to the global population distribution in 2014 actually belongs to neighbouring Niger, which more than sextuples its share of humanity from 0.3% (19m) in 2014 to 1.9% (204m) in 2100.

    At the other end of the scale, the most spectacular fall certainly belongs to China, which sees its share of global population decline from 19.2% in 2014 (1394m) to 10% by 2100 (1086m), losing its present #1 ranking in the process. Japan experiences the most severe proportional decline, more than halving its current 1.8% share of global population (rank #10) to a mere 0.8% and below the cut-off. Russia's decline is almost as steep and sees it just miss the 1% cut-off in 2100.

    More to follow at some point, depending on caffeine intake.
    Last edited by Lethe; Yesterday at 07:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    India needs to slow down on the fertility... jeebus. They can barely get food, water and electricity to the people they already have!

    And yes I always find it surprising just how many people Nigeria has... people don't commonly mention it when thinking of the world's most populated places.... but it's 3rd of all countries.

    P.S.

    USA at 462 million will be scary. That growth...

    Their fastest growing population is of Hispanics, which make up 50 million of US population now, 15% of their population.

    Also interestingly this or the next year is the first year in US schools (I think before college) that whites will not be a majority.
    Last edited by rockman29; Yesterday at 08:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    In case you didn't notice the predominance of African nations in the above list: there is a predominance of African nations in the above list. Let's zoom out to the regional level to see what's going on.

    Undoubtedly the great demographic story of the 21st century is the rise of Africa -- not just West Africa as discussed earlier, but the entire continent. To be fair, this has been going on for a while now. In 1950, Africa was home to 9% of humanity (229m); today it's 15.7% (1138m), and by 2100 Africa's is projected to be home to 38.5% of humanity (4185m). A fourfold increase proportionally over 150 years -- 18-fold in absolute terms.

    Of course, if Africa is going up proportionally, then other regions must be going down. Taking the longer view, it's Europe* that is ceding the most ground. From being home to 21.8% of humanity in 1950, European representation has already more than halved to 10.3% today, and will decline still further to 5.9% by 2100.

    Consider the scale of that turn-around. In 1950 the population of Europe was nearly two and one-half times the size of Africa's. By 2100, Africa's population will be more than five and one-half times the size of Europe's.

    The other region ceding major ground to Africa is doing so only more recently: East Asia. From 26.4% in 1950, and 22.5% in 2014, East Asia's share of humanity almost halves to 11.6% by 2100.

    * Including Russia within the definition of Europe.
    Last edited by Lethe; Yesterday at 08:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    India needs to slow down on the fertility... jeebus. They can barely get food, water and electricity to the people they already have!
    Actually, like pretty much everywhere else, Indian fertility has been going down for a long time now; going by the medium-series projections (which is what I'm using for all of these figures) India's population peaks in 2063 at 1645m people.

    Imagine if there'd been no partition. :o

    And yes I always find it surprising just how many people Nigeria has... people don't commonly mention it when thinking of the world's most populated places.... but it's 3rd of all countries.
    13th in 1950, 7th today, overtaking the United States for 3rd before 2050, and potentially overtaking China for 2nd around 2115 as the two nations (re)cross the big B heading in opposite directions!

    USA at 462 million will be scary. That growth...
    Yeah, US is still growing, but it isn't enough to prevent a continuing slight decline in proportional terms, from 6.2% of global population in 1950 to 4.5% today to 4.3% in 2100.
    Last edited by Lethe; Yesterday at 08:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    India needs to slow down on the fertility... jeebus. They can barely get food, water and electricity to the people they already have!
    Just a further update on this: according to India's country profile, the net reproduction rate* falls below replacement level (1.0) around 2025. Aided by a skewed sex ratio... =/

    * Copypasta: the net reproduction rate is expressed as number of daughters per woman and represents the average number of daughters a hypothetical cohort of women would have at the end of their reproductive period if they were subject during their whole lives to the fertility rates and the mortality rates of a given period.
    Last edited by Lethe; Yesterday at 09:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    Could the reason why China is trailing be their lady deficit? They're like 50 million women short of equal pairs.

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