Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

In a Lagos market. Photo: Stefan Heunis/AFP via Getty Images

Nigeria is on track to have the third-highest population in the world, behind only India and China, according to the UN, a change that could reverberate globally since it's also likely to remain poor.

Why it matters: With more people will come more health risks, a need for more food from already-stressed agricultural land — and the potential for regional and global instability as poor Nigerians along with other Africans seek to migrate for a better life.

By the numbers: Nigeria is expected to surpass the U.S. population by 2050 and Africa is expected to make up 39% of the global population by 2100.

  • Already, Nigeria has the second-highest number of people living with HIV and, when combined with the Democratic Republic of Congo, accounts for more than 35% of the world’s malaria deaths, according to USAID.
  • This year there has been a record-breaking outbreak of Lassa Fever, the Atlantic reports.
  • The need to grow more food to feed Nigeria's growing population will cause humanitarian and environmental havoc, including increased greenhouse gas emissions from producing food.
"This projected increase in population poses a food security challenge for the people of Sub-Saharan Africa. The region is already the world’s hungriest."
World Resources Institute
  • If fertility rates could be reduced, it could help boost Africa's economy, as there would be fewer children to care for. Such a "demographic dividend" helped fuel the economic expansion of the East Asian "Tigers" between 1965 and 1990.

One solution: Empowering women. "We know when girls are educated and have access to family planning, and you have a decline in mortality rates among infants, every society that has seen that happen has reduced fertility rates dramatically and rapidly," said Timothy Searchinger, a researcher at Princeton.

Go deeper

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.