And the beat goes on. According to the latest population data, China’s days as the most populous country on the planet are numbered, as in just six and a half years, India will overtake China with a population just over 1.4 billion.

Of note, India will become the world’s most populous country a full six years earlier than prior United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs demographic estimates.

India's Population

More on New UN projections showing India overtaking China in just six years

According to the new projections, India will grow to around 1.5 billion people by 2030 and top out at close to 1.7 billion by 2050. The UN estimates call for the population of China to hit 1.4 billion by 2022 and remain stable until the 2030s, and then actually start to drop off.

Demographers, economists and planners all highlight that India’s population boom will pose a number of major challenges for the country and the global economy. Keeping India’s economy on track in the midst of this huge population boom, will take a monumental effort on the part of the government and the country’s business leaders.

Analysts point out that India’s economy is already growing faster than China’s and must be carefully nurtured to avoid dangerous overheating or crushing recessions. Experts note that in order to support this gigantic population growth, India must modernize both its agricultural production and food delivery systems. Improvements in transportation infrastructure are an absolute necessity, and the current Indian government under PM Narendra Modi has prioritized road and railway building.

Global population growth

The UN anticipates that the global population will grow by 1 billion over the next 15 years, coming close to 8.5 billion by 2030. Longer-term projections see a global population of 9.7 billion by 2050 and an eye-popping 11.2 billion by 2100.

Around half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050 will come from just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Indonesia and Uganda.

In a scary statistic, the populations of 28 African nations are expected to more than double, and by 2100, at least 10 nations in Africa will see their populations surge by at least a factor of five from current levels.

“The concentration of population growth in the poorest countries presents its own set of challenges, making it more difficult to eradicate poverty and inequality, to combat hunger and malnutrition,” noted John Wilmoth, Director of the UN’s Population Division.

On the other hand, the populations of 48 countries/areas are anticipated to decline between 2015 and 2050. Countries that are project to see populations declines of over 15% by 2050 include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Keep in mind that fertility in all European countries have fallen below the 2.1 children per woman average level needed for complete replacement of the population over the long run.

U.S. population projections

The report said that the population of the U.S. was currently )2015) just over 321 million, and only relatively slow growth was expected in the U.S. through 2030.

Of interest, the new UN population report also projects that that Nigeria is growing so fast it will take over as the third most populous country worldwide by 2050, surpassing both Indonesia and the United States.