Interesting Facts about the World Population

The world population is growing very quickly. Right now, it’s estimated that there are 7 billion people on earth. This number is getting higher and higher every year, but the world population is about much more than just the total count of people. Here are some interesting facts about the world population that very few of us know:

1. Nigeria Has the One of the Highest Population Growth Rates in the World

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, with a growth rate of 2% per year — meaning that its population doubles every 35 years. According to UN estimates, by 2050, Nigeria will have the third-largest population in the world behind India and China. Its population may even pass that of the US. [1]

2. 3 Countries Account For 40% of the Entire World’s Population

China, India, and the USA are the three most populous countries in the world, accounting for 3.137 billion people (more than 40% of the world’s population). [2]

3. Tokyo is the World’s Most Populous City

Tokyo is the world’s most populous city, with 38 million residents — this is more than double the number that New York City has with 18 million residents. [3] [4]

4. Monaco is the Densest Country in the World

You may be surprised to learn that Monaco — a tiny city-state surrounded by France on three sides and the Mediterranean Sea on the other — has more people per square mile than any other country in the world. [16] There are nearly 39,000 people in Monaco, and they all fit into just 0.78 square miles of usable land area.

To give you some perspective on how small that is, New York City covers 305 square miles and has 8 million people living there.

5. Life Expectancy Has More Than Doubled On Average around the World since the Last Century

Life expectancy has more than doubled on average since 1900. If you lived in the 1900s, you would have a life expectancy of about 46 years old. In 2000, that number more than doubled to 76 years old. [5] [6]

6. The Most Populous Country in the World

China is the world’s most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Though the population of China has always been large, the country’s population grew rapidly in the 20th century due to improvements in public health and agricultural productivity. Though China has the highest population, it is not the most densely populated country. That distinction belongs to Monaco.

7. Niger Has the Largest Youngest Population in the World

When we talk about a country’s age structure, we refer to the number of people in each age group. In Niger, for example, the median age is 15.2 years, which means that Niger has a young age structure. This is due to a high fertility rate and low life expectancy (estimated at 60 years). [7]

The average age in Niger is only 15 years! Other countries with a young age structure are Angola and Mali.

8. Many Countries Are Putting an End to the Maximum Child Policy 

Many countries are removing the maximum child policy and encouraging women to give birth to more children to maintain the working-age population. Germany, Italy, and Spain have all introduced financial incentives to encourage families to have children or allow immigrant workers into their countries. [19]

9. Millions of Women in Developing Countries Still Cannot Use Modern Contraceptives to Avoid Pregnancy

Interestingly, most of this growth will happen in less developed countries where many children are still being born each year.

But why does the world’s population continue to grow? One reason is that birth rates remain high in some countries. For example, some women in less developed countries still cannot use modern contraceptives to avoid pregnancy, which means they may have more children than they want or need. [20]

10. In Japan, More Adult Diapers Are Sold Than Children Diapers

The Japanese population is growing, but it’s aging rapidly too. In 2017, there were more elderly citizens than people younger than 15 for the first time in history. The country is also facing a declining birth rate, so there will be fewer young people to support all those seniors in the future.

The Japanese market for adult diapers has been booming for years to cope with these demographic shifts. In 2015, sales for adult diapers surpassed those for children’s diapers for the first time in Japan’s history. [8]

11. The Overall Fertility Rate is Declining

A fertility rate is the average number of children a woman will have during her childbearing years — between 15 and 45. The overall fertility rate is declining. In 1950, the average woman had 4.97 children during her life; in 2020, she had fewer than half as many children (2.47) on average. [9]

12. More Than 50% of the World Population Now Lives In an Urban Area

More than 50% of the world population now lives in an urban area, compared with only 30% in 1950. [10] [11]

13. Africa is the Most Ruralized Continent on Earth

Africa is the most ruralized continent on Earth. While the rest of the world has become more urbanized over time, Africa has remained mostly rural. In 2014, only 40% of Africans lived in cities and towns, and that percentage is expected to rise to 50% by 2030. By then, Africa will have more than 1 billion urban residents.

14. The Population of the World Is Divided Into Six Continents

Asia has the highest number of people at about 4.7 billion, followed by Africa with 1.3 billion, Europe with 748 million, North America with 373 million, South America with 437 million, and Australia/Oceania with 43 million people.

15. The World’s Population Reached 1 Billion for the First Time in 1804

It took 123 years to reach 2 billion (in 1927), 33 years to reach 3 billion (in 1960), 14 years to reach 4 billion (in 1974), 13 years to reach 5 billion (in 1987), and 12 years to reach 6 billion (in 1999). [12]

The growth rate peaked at 2% in 1963 but fell to 1.1% by 2008. [18]

16. The US’s population Will Grow Slowly Compared to that of India

The US’s population is expected to grow more slowly than India’s over the 21st century – from 300 million to 400 million compared to India’s current 1 billion projected to grow to nearly 1.09 billion by 2100. [13]

By 2050, it projects that India will have overtaken China as the home of the most people on Earth by adding nearly 273 million more people to its population. [14]

17. The World Population will reach 11 Billion in 2100

The population of the world is expected to reach 11 billion by 2100, according to a new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. The study found that global population growth will continue over the next several decades before entering a period of long-term decline. [15]

18. 1 in 5 people lives in China or India

China has 1 billion 449 million residents, while India takes second place with 1 billion 406 million residents. That’s right — more than 2 billion people live in just two countries! Meanwhile, the US has 332 million people (as of 2022) — less than one-fifth of China’s population and only one-fourth as many as India’s. [17]


The world population is constantly in flux. As recently as 1960, around 3 billion people lived on our planet. By 2020, the latest figure was at around 7 billion and growing! We hope you like these interesting facts about the ever-growing world population.


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  19. G Seetharaman. (2017, April 15). Child policies across the world: From restrictions to incentives. The Economic Times; Economic Times.‌
  20. Najafi-Sharjabad, F., Syed Yahya, S. Z., Rahman, H. A., Hanafiah, M., & Abdul Manaf, R. (2013). Barriers of Modern Contraceptive Practices among Asian Women: A Mini Literature Review. Global Journal of Health Science, 5(5), 181–192.