Brazil to exit the top 10 most populous countries list by 2100

populous countries
A UN report says the Brazilian population is on pace to shrink by 14 percent. Photo: Bruno Martins/Shutterstock

By the end of the century, Brazil should no longer be among the 10 most populous countries in the world. According to a UN report released on Monday, in 2100, the country is expected to be the 11th-most populous nation, with about 184.5 million inhabitants, a 14-percent drop compared with today’s numbers. 

Per the report, Brazil should reach its population peak in 2046, with 231.1 million inhabitants. It will then suffer a more accentuated deceleration in population growth, losing places to Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the U.S., Ethiopia, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Egypt. 

This slowdown trend is expected to start this year. The growth rate of the Brazilian population, currently standing at 0.45 percent, is almost half the global average. And by the end of this year, the UN estimates that Nigeria will pass Brazil as the sixth most populous country in the world. The difference will be 215.3 million Brazilians against 218.5 million Nigerians.

The main reason for this drop is the falling fertility rate in Brazil. In 2022, the country’s fertility rate stands at 1.6 births per woman – a figure that is expected to remain stable until the end of the century. However, 60 years ago, that number was six births per woman.

At the same time, the population is aging — while in 1950 only 2.4 percent of Brazilians were over 65 years old, this number will reach close to 10 percent this year, and surpass a third of the Brazilian population by the end of the century.

For Brazil, the UN document helps to fill a data gap left by the absence of the country’s demographic census, postponed for two years in a row. National statistics bureau IBGE is only set to start collecting census data on August 1.