World population and the most populous countries
There are approximately 7.3 billion people living in the world today, a figure that shows a dramatic increase since the beginning of the Common Era. Since the 1970s, the global population has also more than doubled in size. It is estimated that the global population will reach and surpass 8 billion people by 2025.
When it comes to number of inhabitants, Asia ranks first by far. In mid-2016, there were over 4.4 billion people living on the continent alone - more than half of the world's total population. Similar to other global regions, a quarter of inhabitants in Asia are under 15 years of age. As of 2015, only around 8 percent of the global population were 64 years old or older. That same year, the most populous nations in the world were China and India respectively, both located on the Asian continent, and each inhabiting more than three times the amount of people than the third-ranked United States. It is estimated that the total population in the most populous country, China, amounted to approximately 1.38 billion in 2016. Not only is the total population in China increasing steadily, but the median age has also increased rapidly over the past six decades. Due to better health care and living conditions, it is estimated that the median age in China in 2015 was 37 years, i.e. half of the Chinese population was younger, while the other half was older than that.
Interestingly enough, the top 20 countries with highest population growth rate in 2014 were mainly countries in Africa. This is due to the lack of contraception and a decrease in infant mortality. Both the population of Asia and Africa are expected to increase rapidly over the next 100 years. Africa's population is estimated to surpass 4.3 billion by 2100, while Asia's inhabitants are likely to break the 4.8 billion mark that year. With these two clearly leading the race, the global population is increasing at an extremely rapid rate.