2013 World Population
Data Sheet

Explore population trends through interactive graphics

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This PRB infographic highlights our 2013 World Population Data Sheet, showing you key population trends and the numbers behind them.

Some of the main population stories for 2013 are:

  • Africa, the world's poorest region, will record the largest amount of population growth of any world region between now and 2050; its population is expected to more than double.
  • By 2050, India will overtake China as the most populous country in the world.
  • By 2025, deaths are likely to outnumber births in developed countries, while births continue to greatly exceed deaths in developing countries.

After interacting with this infographic, you'll understand what the world population looks like in 2013 on a global, regional, country, and city level; and what world population will look like in 2050. You'll also learn about factors that affect population growth and the effect of wealth and income disparities on countries.

Click the information icon on some pages for more information.



When countries are classified as "more developed" (countries in Europe and North America, plus Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) or "less developed," (all other regions and countries) the difference in total population is quite large: 1.2 billion people in more developed countries, and 5.9 billion people in less developed countries.


regional close-up

click a region for country breakdowns

Africa. By 2050, Africa is projected to increase to 2.4 billion from 1.1 billion today making it the region with the largest population growth. But this projection should be treated very cautiously, because it assumes that birth rates will decline smoothly in all African countries in much the same way as birth rates declined in other regions. And that assumption, in turn, assumes that the effective use of family planning will spread in Africa. In most countries, declines in birth rates have been very slow or even nonexistent. And even with declining birth rates, sub-Saharan Africa's population will continue to grow at a fairly rapid pace after 2050 because there are so many young people

Asia. Asia is home to 60% of global population. China and India account for more than half of Asia's total population. China's total fertility rate is a very low 1.5 children per woman. Should China become concerned about population aging and relax its strict "one-child" policy, projections of China's population may have to be raised. In India, the TFR has fallen from about 5.5 children in the past to 2.4 today. But doubts about the future course of the birth rate in India's heavily populated and impoverished northern states makes projections challenging. Nonetheless, India is projected to pass China in population size in about 15 years, becoming the world's most populous country, around 1.5 billion people.

Latin America/Caribbean. Population growth has been in slow decline in this region, largely due to a lower birth rate in Brazil and Mexico, which account for more than half of the region's population. In Brazil, women average 1.8 children, while in Mexico the average is about 2.2. Among developing regions, Latin America/Caribbean has the highest prevalence of family planning at 75% for all methods and 68% for modern methods among married women. The region's population is projected to increase from 606 million today to 780 million in 2050. Three-quarters of a million migrants (on a net basis) leave the region for North America and Europe each year.

North America. The United States and Canada have rather low TFRs: Canada at 1.6 and the United States at 1.9. In the U.S., fertility declined during the recent economic recession, a decline that was especially sharp among Hispanics. Immigration is a significant engine of population growth in both countries.

Europe. Europe's birth rate has plummeted to an unexpectedly low level in the past few decades. Europe's population of 740 million is projected to decrease to 726 million by 2050, but even that lower number depends on whether immigration helps to stall a more-rapid decline. Today, women in Europe average only 1.6 children, compared to 2.6 in 1960. This low fertility has created unprecedented aging. In Europe, only 16% of the population is below age 15. Compare that to 41% in Africa and 25% in Asia. Europe's population ages 65+ is projected to rise to 27% by 2050.

Oceania. In Australia and New Zealand, continued growth from higher birth rates and immigration are expected. Australia's TFR is 1.9; New Zealand's, 2.0. Australia's population of 23 million is expected to increase to 34 million by 2050; New Zealand's population will increase from 5 million to just under 6 million.

Mark Mather

factors of


Live births that occur within a population.


Movement of people from one geographic area to another to establish a new residence.


Deaths that occur within a population.
4.8 2.4 2.2 2.2 1.9 1.6

Click a region for Country highs/lows


Total Fertility Rate*

*births per woman

The wide gulf between high birth rates in developing countries and low birth rates in developed countries and its consequences has never been greater. Developing countries will continue to grow while the developed age and decline. This "Demographic Divide" is readily apparent in the comparison of Niger and the Netherlands.



There is a vast gulf in birth and death rates among the world's countries, and the contrasts are stark between rich and poor countries. Compare Niger and the Netherlands. Even though the two countries have almost the same population size today, Niger is projected to nearly quadruple its population between 2013 and 2050. The Netherlands' population will likely grow very slowly, from 17 million today to 18 million in 2050.

Differences in TFRs and the share of the population in their childbearing years are at the root of these enormous differences. Niger's TFR of 7.6 children per woman is almost four times greater than the Netherlands. In Niger, 50% of the population is younger than 15, compared with 17% in the Netherlands.

Besides population growth, the other big story is population aging: Niger has only 3% of its population 65 and older, but the Netherlands has 16% of its population 65 and older. Population aging puts pressure on a society's abilities to support its elderly citizens.


most populous

  • > 20 Million
  • 15-19.9 Million
  • 10-14.9 Million
  • < 10 Million

The growth of large cities is a remarkable demographic story. Half the world's population now lives in urban areas. But the definition of "urban" varies significantly from country to country. In Peru, urban means an area that has at least 100 dwellings. In Japan, urban applies only to cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants. Regardless of the definition, cities are growing at phenomenal rates. In 1950, 117 million people lived in the top 30 metro areas, but that number nearly quadrupled by 2011. Rural-to-urban migration is the common reason for this growth, as migrants seek a better life in cities. Tokyo is the largest of the 30 top metros, and six of the top 30 are in China.


poorest countries /
greatest population


While virtually all population growth will be in less developed countries, the poorest of these countries will see the greatest percentage increase. As defined by the United Nations, these countries have especially low incomes, high economic vulnerability, and poor human development indicators such as low life expectancy at birth, very low per capita income, and low levels of education.

wealth disparities

Inequality in income and wealth is generally large around the world, especially in developing countries. Regionally, the percent share of income doesn't fluctuate greatly, with the wealthiest fifth generally receiving around half of the income and the poorest fifth receiving less than 10%. The wealthiest fifth has also accumulated almost five times the amount of wealth than the poorest fifth.

Wendy Baldwin

case study
uganda &

In Uganda, women from the poorest fifth of families have twice the number of children than those from the wealthiest fifth. In Cambodia, children in the poorest fifth of families are three times more likely to die before turning 5 than their counterparts in the wealthiest fifth of families.

2013 World population
data sheet

The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. PRB's 2013 World Population Data Sheet contains the latest demographic indicators for more than 200 countries, including current and projected population by country and region, births, deaths, natural increase, infant mortality, migration, life expectancy, HIV/AIDS prevalence, contraceptive use, and percent share of income of the poorest fifth and wealthiest fifth.

Photo Credits
2 Ken Usami/Photodisc/Getty Images
3 Gallo Images/the Agency Collection/Getty Images
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Marcos Semola/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
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6 Trevor Kittelty/Shutterstock
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8 Gallo Images/the Agency Collection/Getty Images
kokoroimages.com/Flickr/Getty Images
Manuel ROMARíS/Flickr/Getty Images
Marcos Semola/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
9 Gallo Images/the Agency Collection/Getty Images
kokoroimages.com/Flickr/Getty Images
lightkey/Vetta/Getty Images
Manuel ROMARíS/Flickr/Getty Images
Marcos Semola/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
Snap Decision/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
10 IMAGEMORE Co., Ltd./Imagemore/Getty Images
MShep2/Vetta/Getty Images