The North Korean population stands at 24.7 million, Radio Free Asia reported on Thursday quoting data from the Population Reference Bureau, a U.S. non-profit organization.
According to the PRB, life expectancy in the North increased from 63 years in 2010 to 69 this year. The huge infant mortality rate dropped slightly from 32 per 1,000 in 2011 to 27 this year.
The North Korean population will keep rising to 26.2 million in 2025 and 27 million in 2050 as life expectancy rises and infant mortality falls, the PRB predicted.
It said the improvements are due to better nutrition and healthcare thanks to international aid, PRB demographer Carl Haub said.
But a government official here said the figures are speculative. The last official census was undertaken in 2008 sponsored by the UN Population Fund and put the North Korean population at 24 million. Based on this, the CIA estimated the population at 24.72 million as of July this year.