Asia is the most populous continent in the world, with 4.64 billion people accounting for nearly 60% of the world population as of 2020.
Africa is the second most largest continent by population, with around 1.34 billion people, or 17% of the world’s population. Only these two continents have crossed one billion milestone. Asia and Africa, together share about 77% of the global population.
Europe has a population of around 748 million (9.59%), North America is home to around 592 million (7.60%), South America, the second least populated continent, has about 431 million inhabitants (5.53%). Oceania (43 million) is the smallest continent on the basis population if Antarctica is excluded as there is no population estimates for Antarctica by UN (World Population Prospects 2019).
Top three biggest subregions belong to Asia Continent : Southern Asia (1.94 bn), Eastern Asia (1.68 bn) and South-Eastern Asia (669 mn). 46.5% of the world’s population lives in Southern Asia (25%) and Eastern Asia (21.5%). Southern Asia includes India, the 2nd most populous country and Eastern Asia includes China, the most populous country. Micronesia is the smallest subregion followed by Polynesia having less than 1 mn people.
Africa has the highest population growth rate as all three subregions growing over 2% are in Africa. Middle Africa is the only subregion growing over 3% followed by Western Africa and Eastern Africa growing over 2%. The population growth rate of Africa (2.49%) continent is almost double of the growth rate of second most fastest growing continent Oceania (1.31%).
Except Africa and Oceania, remaining four continent have growth grate below 1%. Population of Asia (0.86%), South America (0.83%) and North America (0.77%) are increasing with similar rate. Eleven subregions have growth rate above 1%. Europe is the only continent with modest growth rate of 0.06% as lowest three ranked subregions are located in Europe. Southern Europe and Eastern Europe have negative growth rate.
With 40 mn more people in 2020 compare to 2019, Asia is the top contributor of the total world population increment closely followed by Africa (33 mn). These two together account for 89% of the total global population increament. Remaining all four continents have total increase below 5 mn.
Population of Europe is about to rech its peak level in 2021 and Asia and South America is projected to peak in 2055. Population of Africa, North America and Oceania will not peak until 2100.
SOURCE: STATISTICS TIMES.