Special Report

The Fastest-Growing Countries in the World

The population of Earth has seen a meteoric rise over the past century. In just 37 years, the world population doubled, from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 5 billion in 1987, and it is estimated to reach 8 billion this year, according to U.N. data. 

The increase is expected to continue, though at a slower rate. The U.N. projects that the world population will rise to as high as 9.8 billion by the year 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. In order to break down how the population is changing, it is easier to look at individual countries and how they are contributing to the global population. 

To identify the 40 countries with the fastest-growing populations, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the CIA World Factbook’s one-year population growth estimates for 2022. The countries on this list recorded at least a 2% one-year population growth. All data is from the CIA World Factbook and for 2022.

Reviewing the list, one thing that stands is that developed countries like the United States, France, Russia, or Japan are absent from the list. Instead, a majority tend to be in developing world regions and sub-Saharan Africa specifically. Of the 40 countries on the list, 33 are in Africa. (On the other hand, here are the countries on track to shrink the most this century.)

In addition, most of the countries in the list have population pyramids with higher concentrations at the bottom, the younger ages, as opposed to inverted population pyramids in countries like Japan, where there is a high concentration of the population in the old ages. Part of the explanation for this is that more industrialized nations tend to have lower birth rates, many below the replacement rate.

Also, as technology and health care continue to disseminate and improve, the populations of developing nations benefit exponentially as standards of living improves. (Many of the countries on this list are also among the poorest countries in the world.)

Here’s a look at countries with the fastest growing populations:

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