India will be the world’s most populous country sooner than thought

July 30, 2015, 2:41 PM UTC
A man checks his cell phone in front of the Taj Mahal. The
TAJ MAHAL, AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH STATE, INDIA - 2014/11/04: A man checks his cell phone in front of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Construction was completed around 1653. (Photo by Thierry Falise/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Photograph by Thierry Falise — LightRocket via Getty Images

India will become the world’s most populous nation six years earlier than expected.

A report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs released on Wednesday says that China and India currently have about the same population—1.38 billion and 1.31 billion, respectively. The organization previously thought that India would overtake China in population in 2028, but it acknowledged in its report on Wednesday that India will become the world’s most populous nation after 2022. In that year, both countries are expected to have 1.4 billion people, but India’s population will continue increasing and China’s will remain fairly constant until the 2030s when it’s expected to slightly decrease.

India, where 18% of the world’s population lives, is projected to reach 1.5 billion people in 2030 and 1.7 billion in 2050.

The report also found that the global population reached 7.3 billion as of mid-2015, meaning that the world added approximately 1 billion people over the past 12 years. The world’s population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050, and 11.2 billion by 2100.