Most Populous Countries in 1950

Name the most populous countries and empires in the year 1950.
Only countries that were sovereign in the year 1950
Population includes all possessions and territories
Quiz by kalbahamut
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Last updated: January 24, 2020
First submittedDecember 7, 2013
Times taken31,739
Rating4.70
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Population
Country
563 m
China
370 m
India
189 m
Soviet Union
152 m
United States
140 m
British Empire
133 m
French Empire
86 m
Pakistan
84 m
Japan
83 m
Indonesia
53 m
Brazil
Population
Country
52 m
West Germany
48 m
Italy
29 m
Mexico
28 m
Spain
25 m
Belgian Empire
25 m
Poland
21 m
Egypt
21 m
Philippines
21 m
South Korea
21 m
Turkey
+4
Level 32
Dec 8, 2013
Dien Bien Phu aside, the Philippines are so easily forgotten it's crazy.
+3
Level 79
Sep 10, 2016
Huh? Dien Bien Phu is Vietnam...
+4
Level 79
Sep 11, 2016
This is a reference to a previous version of the quiz. Originally, I had decided not to include territorial or imperial possessions in the population totals. I also put in a note about why I put Vietnam on the quiz- and this was because I had decided to accept the Vietnamese narrative which is that the country was united and independent by 1950 and fighting against foreign occupation. If the country was still part of France then obviously it wouldn't be sovereign and get a spot on the list, and if it were divided into north and south then also the population would be halved and not be enough to get on the list.
Dien Bien Phu was site of a major siege against French forces in Indochina. Vietnamese victory there basically meant an end to French involvement in Vietnam. This occurred in 1954.
+2
Level 48
Jan 10, 2015
My mind blanked on the East/West Germany thing.
+5
Level 79
Aug 31, 2016
Germany has been added as a type-in for West Germany to make the quiz consistent with other featured quizzes. Russia was removed as a type-in for the USSR for the same reason. Nigeria has been added to Britain's total. Vietnam has been added to France's total. The Congo has been added to Belgium's total. And Pakistan in 1950 comprised both Pakistan (West Pakistan) and Bangladesh (East Pakistan). Those are the major differences with a contemporary quiz.
+2
Level 44
Feb 12, 2015
Yugoslavia?
+4
Level 79
Feb 12, 2015
Total population in 1950: 7.1 million.
+1
Level 32
Aug 12, 2015
Didnt get brazil
+1
Level 32
Sep 14, 2015
Forgot france
+20
Level 79
Sep 14, 2015
Did you get Brazil this time?
+1
Level 32
Nov 24, 2016
lol
+1
Level 37
Mar 18, 2016
Seems like this quiz should be easy, but I only got 16/20 and was so disappointed I missed Egypt and Poland
+1
Level 58
Jul 21, 2016
Cool quiz. I recommend it for a feature
+1
Level 79
Jul 21, 2016
Thanks. I've recommended a dozen or two quizzes to QM to be featured. I don't think this was one of them, I felt that there were many others I've done that were better, but... not every quiz that ends up featured is genius or anything.
+1
Level 64
Aug 29, 2016
I guess it was considered.
+1
Level 83
Aug 31, 2016
Was almost forgetting Japan and South Korea.
+1
Level 60
Sep 7, 2016
I feel like Russia should be accepted for USSR. It was still commonly referred to as Russia back then.
+2
Level 79
Sep 7, 2016
Originally it was and you have a good point. Quizmaster changed it to be consistent with other quizzes on the site.
+1
Level 38
Mar 28, 2020
I agree.
+1
Level 62
Oct 31, 2016
Good one.
+1
Level 63
Nov 24, 2016
Nice quiz. Forgot Poland and Belgium. Kept trying to think Africa.
+1
Level 79
Nov 24, 2016
If anyone's wondering how it's possible that Pakistan had more people than Japan at this point in history, it's because Pakistan included Bangladesh (East Pakistan) at the time. Britain gets a big boost from Nigeria. and I think when QM changed this to include territories and imperial possessions Vietnam got lumped in with France, though the North Vietnamese had already declared independence.
+1
Level 58
Oct 30, 2019
If this quiz was set just 3 years earlier, I'm guessing Britain would be #1 because of the British Raj. 2 years before that, "Dutch Empire" would be here because of Indonesia. It might be interesting to make a quiz like this for 1945 because the 5 years between 1945 and 1950 saw a lot of changes.
+1
Level 79
Oct 31, 2019
There's one for 1900.
+1
Level 20
Nov 24, 2016
i typed russia but is was soviet union
+2
Level 49
Nov 24, 2016
Only missed Belgium (though tried Congo and Zaire, not realising it weren't sovereign at that time). Anyway, I really enjoyed this quiz, makes you think about the changing world. Fascinating how small, in terms of population, were some countries then, as compared to now. However, what is the source for the numbers in this quiz? Thanks.
+2
Level 69
Nov 24, 2016
It's really hard to imagine Belgium as having had an empire.
+2
Level 62
Nov 24, 2016
The only one I missed was Belgium, though in all fairness I did guess D.R. Congo, not even considering that it was a colony at the time.
+1
Level 50
Nov 25, 2016
I got 17/20 but still missed the US: "What country could have possibly had a population of 150 million in 1950....?"
+1
Level 32
Nov 25, 2016
Portugal had a little more than 20 m
+1
Level 80
Aug 5, 2019
I was betting the Portuguese possessions had to be extremely close.
+1
Level 78
Nov 26, 2016
I almost missed USA, believing I had already written it. At least I got enough time to check my near-miss.
+1
Level 54
May 4, 2017
Did Canada ever get on this list?
+2
Level 79
May 5, 2017
Sure. It's on the list of 196 most populous countries in 2017 list.
+1
Level 63
Nov 1, 2017
:)
+1
Level 54
Dec 11, 2017
...well, you're not wrong...
+1
Level 60
May 13, 2017
dammit! Tried the Congo, but forgot it was still a Belgian colony.
+1
Level 58
Sep 27, 2017
It's crazy how different this is from the 1900 one. Then you reach 2017 and your African/Asian knowledge is tested more than ever.
+2
Level 79
Nov 1, 2017
Some of the missing African and Asian countries (Vietnam, Congo, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Ukraine) are not here because at the time they were part of other countries. Others simply hadn't yet undergone the population boom that they would in the following century as the benefits of industrialization spread to the poorest countries in the world.
+1
Level 37
Mar 29, 2020
Ukraine isn't in Africa or Asia.
+1
Level 79
Mar 30, 2020
True. But it was part of the USSR which was partly in Asia.
+1
Level 45
Dec 29, 2017
20 out of 20 but somehow almost forgot the ussr...
+2
Level 73
Dec 1, 2018
Tried Korea, didn't work. Forgot to try South Korea later, but got all of the rest.
+1
Level 30
Jun 6, 2019
Everything I missed was because I thought is was still a colony. Figured Pakistan was still a part of Raj, and eventually guessed South Africa, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Zaire, and then gave up on Egypt. Shame.
+1
Level 79
Jun 6, 2019
A lot of newly independent countries in the 40s and 50s.
+1
Level 60
Nov 17, 2019
Missed South Korea and Belgium. Tried Congo and Korea. I guess that I need to learn more about the historical World maps...
+1
Level 33
Mar 22, 2020
Why is there south korea?
+1
Level 70
Mar 28, 2020
Literally typed "Congo", "DRC" and "Zaire" before realising it didn't get independence from Belgium until like 1960. Then I didn't think to type Belgium too. Got 19/20. I'm so dumb.
+1
Level 46
Mar 28, 2020
You're not the only one, I did the same.
+1
Level 25
Apr 27, 2020
South Korea in 1950?