By Ikenna Asomba

By 2050, Nigeria, currently the seventh most populous country in the world, will rise to the fourth spot with an estimated 397 million people, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a Washington-based organisation that informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment has said.

The PRB August 2015 Data Sheet showed that three out of the top 10 most populous countries in 2050 will be in Africa.

While Nigeria will leapfrog Indonesia to occupy the No. 4, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia will respectively replace Russia and Mexico in the No. 9 and No. 10 spots by 2050.

2015 statistics
Currently, Nigeria domiciled in West Africa, is positioned in No. 7 with an estimated 182 million people, while Ethiopia (in East Africa) with an estimated 98 million is positioned in No. 13, even as Congo DR (in Central Africa) with an estimated 73 million people is in the No.
19 spot.

However, Indonesia which Nigeria will replace in the No. 4 currently has an estimated 256 million people, but by 2050, the SouthEast Asian country will slip to No. 5 with an estimated 367 million people.

Russia in Eastern Europe which Congo DR will replace in the No. 9 currently has an estimated 144 million people, but by 2050 the country will slip to No. 14 with an estimated 134 million people.

On the other hand, Mexico in Central America which Ethiopia will replace in the No. 10 currently has an estimated 127 million people, but by 2050, the Latin American country will slip to No. 11 with an estimated 164 million people.

The report sees many African countries rising in the ranks throughout the next three decades because of to high fertility rates and improved life expectancy. The data show that populations will more than double in 40, mostly African, countries.

According to the report, China, with an estimated 1.3 billion people now, will be leapfrogged by India as the most populous country in the world by 2022. By 2050, India will remain the most most populous country in the world with an estimated 1.7 billion people, while China
will slip to No 3 with an estimated 1.4 billion people.

The bureau’s annual Population Data Sheet sees the global population ballooning by 2.5 billion to 9.8 billion by 2050.

The United States projected to have 398 million inhabitants by 2050, will just about maintain its position as the third most populous country.

The rise of African countries is not surprising. The bureau’s report shows that the 10 countries with the highest fertility rates are currently in Africa. Niger, with 7.6 children per woman, is leading the table. South Sudan, where the average is 6.9 children per woman, comes second, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia tied for third with 6.6 babies per woman.

While African countries will boom in terms of population, the situation in some of the world’s most developed countries won’t be that rosy, mainly due to falling birth rates and aging. Populations in 34 countries are projected to be smaller in 2050 than it now. Japan is projected to see the biggest decline with 30 million fewer people living in the country.

How Nigeria, Congo DR, Ethiopa will leapfrog

Variables which the report used however to arrive at its forecast are Births per 1, 000 population; Deaths per 1, 000 population; Net Migration Rate per 1, 000 population; Infant Mortality Rate; Total Fertility Rate; Percent of Population who are less than age 15 as well as those that are age 65 and above; the Gross National Income (GNI) in Dollars as at 2014 (that is the the dollar value of a country’s final income in a year, divided by its population; a reflection of the average income of a country’s citizens) and the Percentage of population living in Urban areas.

Other variables used are Population per Square Kilometre of Arable land and Percent of Married Women between ages 15 and 49 using All Methods, as well as Modern Methods of Contraception during copulation their spouses.

Nigeria

The report puts Nigeria’s Births per 1, 000 population at 39; Deaths per 1, 000 population at 14; Net Migration Rate per 1, 000 population at -0; Infant Mortality Rate at 69; Total Fertility Rate at 5.5; Percent of Population who are less than age 15 as well as those that are age 65 and above at 43 and 3 respectively; GNI in Dollars as at 2014 at 5, 680; and the Percentage of population living in Urban areas at 50.

It also puts Nigeria’s Population per Square Kilometre of Arable land at 520 and Percent of Married Women between ages 15 and 49 using All
Methods, as well as Modern Methods of Contraception during copulation with their spouses at 15 and 10 respectively.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The report puts Congo Democratic Republic’s Births per 1, 000 population at 46; Deaths per 1, 000 population at 16; Net Migration Rate per 1, 000 population at -0; Infant Mortality Rate at 108; Total Fertility Rate at 6.6; Percent of Population who are less than age 15 as well as those that are age 65 and above at 46 and 3 respectively; GNI in Dollars as at 2014 at 700; and the Percentage of population living in Urban areas at 42.

It also puts the Middle African country’s Population per Square Kilometre of Arable land at 1, 044 and Percent of Married Women between ages 15 and 49 using All Methods, as well as Modern Methods of Contraception during copulation with their spouses at 20 and 8 respectively.

Ethiopia

The report puts Ethiopia’s Births per 1, 000 population at 31; Deaths per 1, 000 population at 8; Net Migration Rate per 1, 000 population at 0; Infant Mortality Rate at 49; Total Fertility Rate at 4.1; Percent of Population who are less than age 15 as well as those that are age 65 and above at 41 and 4 respectively; GNI in Dollars as at 2014 at 1, 500; and the Percentage of population living in Urban areas at 17.

It also puts the East African country’s Population per Square Kilometre of Arable land at 641 and Percent of Married Women between ages 15 and 49 using All Methods, as well as Modern Methods of Contraception during copulation with their spouses at 42 and 40 respectively.

 

How ready is the Nigerian govt?

Given this startling statistics about Nigeria’s population explosion by 2050, the pertinent question which arises is, is the Nigerian government ready for the challenges ahead, particularly the nation’s worrisome unemployment figure.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria in June 2015, brought to the front burner the issue of youth unemployment in the country, stating that 80 per cent of Nigerian youths are without jobs.

The Special Assistant on Sustainable Banking, CBN, Dr. Aisha Mahmood, had while delivering a paper on Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principle during the 2014 World Environment Day programme, organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment in Abuja, disclosed that unemployment remains a severe threat to Nigeria’s economy.

She said, “As the population is growing, the resources that we all depend on, the food, energy, water, is declining. The demand for these resources will rise exponentially by the year 2030, with the world needing about 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water.

“In Nigeria, there is the issue of youth and employment. 70 per cent of the 80 million youths in Nigeria are either unemployed or underemployed. We are all witness to what happened recently during the immigration recruitment exercise and this is simply because 80 per cent of the Nigerian youth are unemployed”.

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