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Future Humans: How Many Of Us Will There Be?

Astronauts thinking deep thoughts.

Planet Earth is a vast place, with humans scattered all over it.

But how we're distributed is far from even. About half of the planet's 7.5 billion people live in just seven countries. China tops the list with over 1.4 billion people, while its neighbor India is catching up fast at 1.3 billion. Though far below the billion mark, the United States comes in third, with about 325 million people. Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Nigeria round out the top seven.

Dividing the world up by continents can give a sense of where the world's population is clustered. North and South America combined have about a billion people. Africa has 1.3 billion, and Europe is at 742 million. And then there's Asia, with 4 1/2 billion people. That's more than half of the humans on Earth.

How many more people will there be in the next hundred years? The United Nations estimated in a report released Wednesday that by 2100, the human population will actually stop growing.

By then, the U.N. predicts that more people will live in cities, make more money, have more to eat, get better health care and have fewer kids.

There will probably be about another half-billion people in Asia and 3 billion more in Africa, which is currently the continent with the youngest average age.

If the U.N. estimate holds up, there will eventually be 11.2 billion people living on Planet Earth, about 50 percent more than the current 7.5 billion. And 80 percent of future earthlings will live on just two continents — Asia and Africa.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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