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The World Population Prospects 2017 / United Nations

Nigeria’s population will become the third most populated country, overtaking the United States of America, by 2050 according to a report released by the United Nations. Currently coming in at number seven on the world’s most populated country list, this drastic position change will be attributed to a population boom driven by high fertility rates and the cultural value placed on big families. The country is home to four of the fasting growing cities in the world and has been called an economic powerhouse.

However, Nigeria will not be the only country on the African continent to experience this large population growth spurt. The United Nation also estimates that half of the world’s population growth is likely to happen in Africa over the next few decades. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda are all projected to add millions of people to their population size in years to come.

The World Population Prospects 2017/ United Nations

Amongst these, Nigeria’s population, currently the seventh largest in the world, is growing the most rapidly. Consequently, the population of Nigeria is projected to surpass that of the United States shortly before 2050, at which point it would become the third largest country in the world. In 2050, the populations in six of the ten largest countries are expected to exceed 300 million: China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and United
States of America (in alphabetical order).

Though population growth is exciting, it isn’t necessarily all good news. For some of these countries, larger populations can spell trouble, stretching resources even thinner and possibly putting a strain on already fragile infrastructure. In the years to come, it will be revealed how Africa deals with these growing pains.

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