Thursday, August 18, 2005

World population 1950-2050

You probably knew that China has the largest population in the world (1.3 billion), but did you know that India (now 1.1 billion) is prospected to have the largest population by 2034? China is prospected to have a population of   1.461 billion by then, while India is prospected to have a population of 1.466 billion. I was quite surprised to find out that the United States ranks third in largest population (296 million), as I thought Indonesia (242 million) would. Also surprising is that the Netherlands ranks 59th ( 16.4 million), ranked 34th in 1950 (10.1 million), but it will rank 76th by the year 2050 (a prospected 17.3 million inhabitants). I remember vividly, that when I was about five or six years of age, I was convinced that the Netherlands was the smallest country in the world... An 'oncle' (someone we met on a holiday in France) soon explained to me that Luxembourg (469,571 inhabitants) is much smaller, and even Belgium ( 10.4 million) is. The smallest population is fact found in Saint Pierre and Miquelon (7012 inhabitants--- can that be a self sustaining vital democratic "country"??), it ranks 227th. By the year 2050, the world's total population is prospected to count 9.2 billion people. Well, that's based on current growth rates, and of course we don't know how much the world will change in 45 years (just think of the tremendous changes over the last century). All these figures come from a special webpage of the US census bureau, and the latter has more interesting data freely accessible.

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