Nigeria’s Population to Surpass America’s by 2050, New Report Shows

About 1.3 billion people are expected to be added to Africa’s population between 2017 and 2050. (Image courtesy of Dr. Harnet Bokrezion /

Nigeria’s population is growing so fast, it’s slated to become the third-largest country in the world, according to a new population prospects report by the United Nations.

The African nation currently stands as the seventh most-populated country on the planet, but with a drastic population boom expected in the next few decades, Nigeria’s population is projected to overtake the United States’ shortly before 2050.

Researchers attribute the significant bump in population to high rates of fertility and the cultural value placed on having large families. In fact, over half of the increase in global population can be linked to several African nations, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda, the report showed. All are projected to add millions to their populations in the coming years.

Other nations including India, Pakistan, the United States and Indonesia also are expected to collectively account for a significant chunk of the world’s projected population increase.

“Current estimates indicate that roughly 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year,” the report states. “Even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline, the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100.”

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Between 2017 and 2050, the populations of 26 African nations are projected to reach at least double their current size.
  • For six African countries, the populations are projected to grow to more than five times their current size by 2100. These nations include Angola, Burundi, Niger, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
  • Of the additional 2.2 billion people who may be added between 2017 and 2050, 1.3 billion will be added in Africa.
  • Continued growth of the world’s population is expected at least until 2050, even if the decline of fertility accelerates.
Back to top