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Total Population in China, Europe and the United States of America (compared with India, Brazil and Nigeria), 1950-2100

Source: United Nations, Department of Social and Economic Affairs, Population Division: World Population Prospects, The 2010 Revision. New York, 2011 (

The population of the United States of America is projected to grow continuously for many decades to come. By the end of the century the US population will be approximately the same size as that of the 27 states that make up the European Union.

China's population, on the other hand will only slightly grow (due to its momentum effect) until around 2025. Then it will start to decline significantly until it will reach a bit more than 900 million.

For comparison: India's population will outgrow that of China by 2020 and then further increase to more than 1.7 billion around 2065. Only then it is projected to start declining.

A most dramatic demographic change is projected for the most populous country in Africa: Nigeria. While its population was only around 38 million in 1950, it has now increased to about 150 million and is projected to reach almost 750 million by the end of the century. Shortly after 2050 Nigeria's population will become larger than the (growing) population of the United States; and by 2065 Nigeria's population will outgrow the population of the 27 states of the European Union combined. In fact, around 2070 Nigeria's population will be as large as China's population in 1950.

India is another country with remarkable population growth: By 1950 India's population was almost exactly the same size as that of the 27 countries of the European Union combined. Today India has four times as many people and by around 2060, India's population will be 3.4 times that of Europe. Within about one century, India's population has outgrown Europe's population by 1.2 billion people.

These fundamental discrepancies in population growth will shift the geo-strategic weight away from Europe towards Asia and Africa.

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This section was updated on 16 February 2012

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012