Population growth

Population growth by country

Global population growth is the result of birth rate and death rate. The world population is rising steadily. In 2017, it reached a total population of 7.530 billion people on our planet with a growth rate of 1.2%.

With a growth rate of about 0.8% in the last decade, the United States are well in the middle of the global comparison. The last slight increase of it's growth rate was in 90s.

By contrast, the states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (both located in Western Asia) are by far the leaders in recent decades. Growth rates of more than 15% per year were achieved there.

Population growth 1998 - 2007

+7% or more
-1% or less


Other periods:1960 - 20172008 - 20171998 - 20071988 - 19971978 - 1987

CountryØ Growth/yearGrowth 1998-2007
Qatar8.46%116.13%
United Arab Emirates8.46%112.96%
Bahrain5.71%68.79%
Turks and Caicos Islands5.66%67.34%
South Sudan4.30%45.20%
Equatorial Guinea4.29%46.35%
Liberia4.09%37.70%
Kuwait3.87%36.33%
Rwanda3.80%33.82%
Afghanistan3.77%41.10%
Cayman Islands3.77%36.41%
Niger3.72%38.95%
Chad3.70%38.88%
Uganda3.41%35.65%
Sierra Leone3.41%38.17%
Angola3.36%35.43%
Gambia3.15%32.57%
Somalia3.10%31.06%
Madagascar3.08%31.23%
Mali3.06%31.74%
Belize3.02%29.58%
Benin3.02%30.67%
Democratic Republic of the Congo2.92%30.28%
Mozambique2.88%29.48%
Ethiopia2.88%28.99%
Tanzania2.86%29.19%
Iraq2.81%27.94%
Kenya2.78%27.93%
Eritrea2.77%28.82%
Saudi Arabia2.62%27.01%
Syria2.61%25.83%
Nigeria2.58%25.80%
Ghana2.57%25.86%
Macao2.29%22.93%
Pakistan2.19%21.23%
Ivory Coast2.14%20.15%
Malaysia2.13%20.41%
Israel2.09%20.25%
East Timor2.03%23.09%
Philippines2.03%19.55%
Cambodia1.93%17.93%
Singapore1.93%16.84%
Egypt1.86%18.05%
Bolivia1.84%17.63%
Venezuela1.83%17.49%
Ireland1.82%18.48%
Ecuador1.77%16.78%
Bangladesh1.74%16.36%
Costa Rica1.73%15.98%
India1.69%16.11%
Namibia1.69%14.88%
Laos1.64%15.51%
Nepal1.59%14.69%
Turkey1.43%13.48%
Mexico1.40%13.17%
Iceland1.40%13.69%
Iran1.40%12.72%
Indonesia1.40%13.26%
Colombia1.39%13.10%
Algeria1.39%13.07%
Luxembourg1.36%13.02%
South Africa1.34%12.43%
Brazil1.32%12.26%
Peru1.32%12.27%
Spain1.22%12.44%
Australia1.18%11.31%
Monaco1.17%11.38%
Chile1.16%10.77%
Morocco1.16%10.83%
New Zealand1.11%10.72%
Argentina1.10%10.29%
Mongolia1.05%10.02%
Liechtenstein1.04%9.17%
Vietnam1.04%9.48%
Burma1.03%9.37%
United States1.00%9.20%
Tunisia0.93%8.41%
Canada0.93%8.73%
Thailand0.84%7.47%
North Korea0.81%7.39%
Mauritius0.77%6.83%
Bermuda0.70%6.47%
Sri Lanka0.70%6.68%
China0.69%6.12%
Norway0.67%6.27%
France0.66%6.36%
Hong Kong0.64%5.69%
Switzerland0.63%6.20%
South Korea0.58%5.18%
American Samoa0.53%3.58%
United Kingdom0.50%4.85%
Netherlands0.48%4.29%
Belgium0.43%4.14%
Portugal0.42%3.77%
Austria0.40%4.00%
Greece0.36%3.06%
Sweden0.34%3.36%
Denmark0.33%2.96%
Macedonia0.32%2.65%
Finland0.29%2.62%
Italy0.27%2.69%
Cuba0.26%2.17%
Slovenia0.16%1.84%
Japan0.15%1.27%
Kazakhstan0.10%2.74%
Greenland0.10%0.81%
Bosnia and Herzegovina0.06%0.63%
Germany0.03%0.27%
Czech Republic-0.00%0.04%
Slovakia-0.02%-0.29%
Poland-0.14%-1.40%
Moldova-0.21%-2.08%
Hungary-0.23%-2.05%
Serbia-0.29%-2.46%
Croatia-0.30%-1.44%
Federated States of Micronesia-0.32%-2.92%
Russia-0.35%-3.29%
Estonia-0.43%-3.28%
Northern Mariana Islands-0.45%-9.10%
Belarus-0.56%-5.05%
Albania-0.58%-5.07%
Armenia-0.66%-5.65%
Romania-0.77%-7.22%
Saint Martin-0.77%-4.79%
Ukraine-0.84%-7.25%
Bulgaria-0.96%-8.62%
Latvia-1.00%-8.70%
Lithuania-1.01%-8.96%
Georgia-1.04%-9.03%
Kosovo-1.77%-11.83%

The table shows the growth or demographic decline in 130 countries in the years 1998 to 2007. By far the strongest growth was in Qatar, averaging 8.46% per year. This corresponds to a doubling of the population in less than 9 years. Overall, it is striking that these extremely high growth rates occur more frequently in small states of the Middle East and are associated with an above-average birth rate and an low mortality rate. The explanation for this lies in the very small proportion of older population strata. Older residents from 55 years are virtually non-existent and by far the largest population is between 25 and 54 years old.

Another cluster of states with increased population growth occurs in Central and South Africa. The reason is the exceptionally high birth rate, which is sometimes over 50‰ (=50 births per 1000 inhabitants and year). Worldwide, the average birth rate since the turn of the millennium is around 22‰. In addition, over the past 20 years there has been a noticeable decline in the mortality rate from around 20‰ to around 10‰ in these countries.

The opposite is clear at the other end of the table, where there are disproportionately many Eastern European countries. The death rate in these countries has been higher than the birth rate in recent decades. Also in this region, churn plays a greater role than e.g. in Western European or Asian countries.



Click on one of the country names in the table to see more information about each country.





Population growth worldwide

In the last 2000 years, the population almost continuously increased slowly and steadily. Just 350 years ago, there were only half a billion people on earth. With the "Industrial Revolution", at the end of the 18th century, an unprecedented increase in population began. Numerous technical and chemical developments such as e.g. medicine or fertilizer dropped the death rate drastically. At the same time, there was an improved supply of food for large parts of the population, which also ensured the future of the offspring and thus led to an increased birth rate. Population growth jumped from 0.3% up to 0.8%. In the following 300 years alone, the world population grew from 0.5 to over 3 billion people.

Considering the recent time, the curve flattens off again. The following graph shows the evolution of the world population from 1960 to 2017. The exponential development of the population has subsided and the graph is almost linear. There is only a minimal decline in growth rates.

At the end of 2017, there were 7.53 billion people on earth. The growth rate has been at 1.16 percent.


(Figures in billions of inhabitants)


Population pyramids: different growth by economy

The population does not rise equally in all countries. There is a striking difference when looking at the aggregated age pyramids by countries with different economic strengths. Globally, the age pyramid looks like a hive or bell with a few smaller outliers. This is due to a balanced increase in the younger generations with a birth rate of currently 18.9 ‰ and a high, late mortality. At least in relation to the entire world population.

World

Population pyramid Total world population 2017
Low-income countries

Population pyramid Low-income countries 2017
High-income countries

Population pyramid High-income countries 2017

In a direct comparison of age pyramids, it becomes clear that poor and rich countries differ massively in their population growth. In rich countries, people are much more likely to reach old age due to a strong social system, above-average health care and financial stability. At the same time, however, pressure to perform, high living costs and the lack of an evolutionary need to reduce birth rates ensure. The majority of the population today is between 30 and 50 years old, while under-20s are noticeably underrepresented. In some countries, in 10 to 20 years, this situation will lead to fewer and fewer people having to pay for the pension system financed by their taxes.

In poor countries, the age pyramid has a pagoda shape, ie a broadened pyramid with disproportionately increasing younger age groups. Through higher and earlier mortality, the older residents remain significantly in the minority. At the same time social systems and financial security of the population are often missing, which can only be obtained from one's own family. Large families with many children also mean greater economic security in the future, leading to an increased birth rate. Family associations play a much more important role in most poorer countries than in rich ones. Most children stay spatially bound for a lifetime and care not only for the financial security, but also for the care in old age.