India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country around 2027, a UN report said on Monday.

The country is expected to nearly 273 million people between now and 2050 and will remain the most populated country through the end of the current century.

“World’s population is expected to increase by two billion people in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050,” the report titled ‘The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights’, published by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said.

The report further stated that more than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just nine countries, led by India and followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the US.

Previously, UN reports had predicted that India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country as early as 2022.

China, with 1.43 billion people in 2019, and India, with 1.37 billion, have long been the two most populous countries of the world, comprising 19 and 18 per cent, respectively, of the global total in 2019. They are followed by the United States of America, with 329 million in 2019, and Indonesia, with 271 million, PTI quoted a 2019 report.

According to the report, around 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in intermediate-fertility countries, where women have on average between 2.1 and four births over a lifetime.

The report also confirmed that the world’s population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels and that the number of countries experiencing a reduction in population size is growing.

(With PTI inputs)