July 11, 2014

Which six countries hold half the world’s population?

As of this month, the world’s population is now 7.2 billion, according to the United Nations, which celebrates World Population Day today. According to U.N. data, half of the people around the globe (3.6 billion) live in just a half-dozen countries. China has the world’s largest population (1.4 billion), followed by India (1.3 billion). The next most-populous nations – the United States, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan – combined have less than 1 billion people.

World's population lives in these 6 countries

The demographic future for the U.S. and the world looks very different than the recent past. Growth from 1950 to 2010 was rapid — the global population nearly tripled, and the U.S. population doubled. However, population growth in future decades is projected to be significantly slower and is expected to tilt strongly to the oldest age groups, both globally and in the U.S.

For example, the U.N. projects that during this century, the number of people living to at least age 100 will increase more than 100-fold, from 181,000 in the year 2000 to over 20 million in the year 2100.

Topics: Population Trends, Population Projections

  1. Photo of Conrad Hackett

    is a demographer focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.


  1. Anonymous1 year ago

    I wonder what the age ranges are of how you have to be or what the oldest you cant be for joining militaries around the world. Could this effect on who will win WW3?…….

  2. Brandon2 years ago

    Wow that is a lot of people and i think that most likely by the year 2075 the population of the world will reach over 10 billion people by estimation.

  3. Ryan2 years ago

    Rich is right and not many people realize that Africa is a continent and not a country

    1. Morgan James2 years ago

      did you know that not everybody is rich

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Kamu Benar

  4. VonVictor Roesnchild3 years ago

    Actually the population of Africa is more than 1.111 billion (2013). The population of China is more than 1.357 billion (2013). so if you figure these two together and include the Population of South America which is more than 387.5 million (2011), that would be 3,000,000,000 (3 Billion people). Although your stats is looking more at a Micro scale, we should not lose sight of the Macro scale, and the overwhelming fact that there are Billions of Minorities on the planet.

    1. Rich2 years ago

      Africa is not a country, it is a continent.

      1. Tati2 years ago

        So is the USA

        1. DuhChannel2 years ago

          No USA is a country. South America and North America are continent.

        2. Anonymous1 year ago

          USA is continent and a country of unified states.

        3. Anonymous1 year ago

          No USA in a country North America is a continent and North America consists of the USA, Canada, and I think Mexico.

      2. Ryan Cunningham2 years ago

        not many people realize that

    2. andy clark2 years ago

      No… go even more macro. There have been 100 billion people alive in history. 7 billion are alive today. The vast majority are dead or unborn.

    3. Donald Reeves2 years ago

      You are saying the population of africa and china is 3 billion. Then how many people live in North America and Europe?

    4. sharon2 years ago

      minority is a matter of proximity unless you are considering the whole earth then if you are not chinese then you are a minority

  5. sabbir3 years ago

    where the position of bangladesh according to demography


  6. Christopher Mixson3 years ago

    By the numbers, those conventions hailed as progressive reform in many Western nations and now considered politically untouchable, e.g. Social Security, resetting retirement ages, etc., the foundations of which are based on the expectation of ever increasing population growth to fund, combined with huge strides in robotics, which offer a machine minimum wage of $1.50 an hour…no down time, no paid vacations, no benefits and which will inevitably replace human workers at an exponential pace thereby taking them out of the contribution pool needed to sustain government sponsored social programs (holding perhaps the greatest early consequences in non-Western economies with the largest populations, e.g. India and China who will lose their current “cost of production advantage” to machines and where many of those “robot capable” jobs will be increasingly repatriated to the more politically stable environs of their host companies’ nations – albeit sans significant employment gains), all point to certain future sociological and political changes. The solution to some extent will depend on how astute the wealthy who control politics in these Western nations are in anticipating and reacting progressively to these emerging demographic and technological realities. Picketty’s findings as published in ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ suggest that we’re in for a very interesting future that will either be hailed as one of enlightenment where wealth redistribution is approached in an intelligent manner or one of chaos and violence. Using the present dysfunction of the US Congress as an example (a seemingly valid representation given the stature of the US on the world’s political stage), a political body that cannot come together to solve more easily addressable issues of the present, suggests that expecting them to intelligently anticipate and prepare for those of the future is a stretch of logic at best. At least today’s children will have a long time to ponder the subject as centenarians become more the norm.