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In
demographics Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek δῆμος (''dēmos'') meaning 'the people', and ''-graphy'' from γράφω (''graphō'') meaning 'writing, description or measurement') is the statistics, statistical study of populat ...

demographics
, the world population is the total number of
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s currently living, and was estimated to have exceeded 7.9 billion people . It took over 2 million years of human prehistory and
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
for the world's population to reach 1
billion A billion is a number with two distinct definitions: *1,000,000,000 1,000,000,000 (one billion, short scale; one thousand million or milliard, yard, long scale) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for ...

billion
and only 200 years more to grow to 7 billion. The world population has experienced continuous growth following the
Great Famine of 1315–1317 The Great Famine of 1315–1317 (occasionally dated 1315–1322) was the first of a series of large-scale crises that struck Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conve ...
and the end of the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
in 1350, when it was near 370 million. The highest global
population growth rates upright=2.3, Historical Population Growth Rate (1950-1955) estimated by the United Nations, UN. This article includes a table of countries and self-governing dependent territories by annual population growth rate. Methodology The table below show ...
, with increases of over 1.8% per year, occurred between 1955 and 1975peaking at 2.1% between 1965 and 1970. The growth rate declined to 1.2% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to decline further in the course of the 21st century. The global population is still increasing, but there is significant uncertainty about its long-term trajectory due to changing rates of fertility and mortality. The UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs projects between 9–10 billion people by 2050, and gives an 80% confidence interval of 10–12 billion by the end of the 21st century. Other demographers predict that world population will begin to decline in the second half of the 21st century.
Birth rate The crude birth rate (CBR) in a period is the total number of live births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; population ...
s were highest in the late 1980s at about 139 million, and as of 2011 were expected to remain essentially constant at a level of 135 million, while the
mortality rate Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular Statistical population, population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time. Mortality rate is typically e ...
numbered 56 million per year and were expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040. The
median age A population pyramid or "age-sex pyramid" is a graphical illustration of the distribution of a population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governme ...

median age
of human beings as of 2020 is 31 years.


Population by region

Six of the Earth's seven
continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

continent
s are permanently inhabited on a large scale. Asia is the most populous continent, with its 4.64 billion inhabitants accounting for 60% of the world population. The world's two most populated countries, China and India, together constitute about 36% of the world's population. Africa is the second most populated continent, with around 1.34 billion people, or 17% of the world's population. Europe's 747 million people make up 10% of the world's population as of 2020, while the
Latin American Latin Americans ( es, Latinoamericanos; pt, Latino-americanos; ) are the citizenship, citizens of Latin American countries (or people with cultural, ancestral or national origins in Latin America). Latin American countries and their diasporas a ...
and
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
regions are home to around 653 million (8%). Northern America, primarily consisting of the United States and Canada, has a population of around 368 million (5%), and
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Eart ...

Oceania
, the least populated region, has about 42 million inhabitants (0.5%).
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Oc ...

Antarctica
only has a very small, fluctuating population of about 1200 people based mainly in polar science stations.


History

Estimates of world population by their nature are an aspect of
modernity Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissance The Renaissance ...

modernity
, possible only since the
Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an informal and loosely defined term for the early modern period approximately from the 15th century to the 18th century ...
. Early estimates for the population of the world date to the 17th century:
William Petty Sir William Petty Royal Society, FRS (26 May 1623 – 16 December 1687) was an English economist, physician, scientist and philosopher. He first became prominent serving Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth of England, Commonwealth in Ireland. ...

William Petty
in 1682 estimated world population at 320 million (modern estimates ranging close to twice this number); by the late 18th century, estimates ranged close to one billion (consistent with modern estimates). More refined estimates, broken down by continents, were published in the first half of the 19th century, at 600 million to 1 billion in the early 1800s and at 800 million to 1 billion in the 1840s. It is difficult for estimates to be better than rough approximations, as even modern population estimates are fraught with uncertainties on the order of 3% to 5%.


Ancient and post-classical history

Estimates of the population of the world at the time agriculture emerged in around 10,000 BC have ranged between 1 million and 15 million. Even earlier, genetic evidence suggests humans may have gone through a population bottleneck of between 1,000 and 10,000 people about 70,000 BC, according to the
Toba catastrophe theory The Youngest Toba eruption was a Supervolcano, supervolcanic types of volcanic eruptions, eruption that occurred around 75,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of the Earth's List of largest volcanic ...
. By contrast, it is estimated that around 50–60 million people lived in the combined eastern and western
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
in the 4th century AD. The
Plague of Justinian The plague of Justinian or Justinianic plague (541–549 AD) was the first major outbreak In epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or ...
, which first emerged during the reign of the
Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...

Justinian
, caused Europe's population to drop by around 50% between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. The population of Europe was more than 70 million in 1340. The
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of individuals. A widespread disease with a stable number o ...

pandemic
of the 14th century may have reduced the world's population from an estimated 450 million in 1340 to between 350 and 375 million in 1400; it took 200 years for population figures to recover. The population of China decreased from 123 million in 1200 to 65 million in 1393, presumably from a combination of
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
invasions, famine, and plague. Starting in AD 2, the
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
of
ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...
kept consistent family registers in order to properly assess the poll taxes and labor service duties of each household.Nishijima, Sadao (1986), "The economic and social history of Former Han", in Twitchett, Denis; Loewe, Michael, ''Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220'', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 595-96. In that year, the population of
Western Han#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
was recorded as 57,671,400 individuals in 12,366,470 households, decreasing to 47,566,772 individuals in 9,348,227 households by AD 146, towards the
End of the Han Dynasty The end of the Han dynasty refers to the period of Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as ...
. At the founding of the
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming Dynasty
in 1368, China's population was reported to be close to 60 million; toward the end of the dynasty in 1644, it may have approached 150 million. England's population reached an estimated 5.6 million in 1650, up from an estimated 2.6 million in 1500. New crops that were brought to Asia and Europe from the Americas by Portuguese and Spanish colonists in the 16th century are believed to have contributed to population growth. Since their introduction to Africa by Portuguese traders in the 16th century,
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
and
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names) is a woody shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herb ...

cassava
have similarly replaced traditional African crops as the most important
staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, ...

staple food
crops grown on the continent. The pre-Columbian population of the Americas is uncertain; historian David Henige called it "the most unanswerable question in the world." By the end of the 20th century, scholarly consensus favored an estimate of roughly 55 million people, but numbers from various sources have ranged from 10 million to 100 million. Encounters between European explorers and populations in the rest of the world often introduced local
epidemics An epidemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
of extraordinary virulence. According to the most extreme scholarly claims, as many as 90% of the Native American population of the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The re ...
died of
Old World The Old World consists of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of 's total su ...
diseases such as
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
,
measles Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to ...
, and
influenza Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), ...

influenza
. Over the centuries, the Europeans had developed high degrees of immunity to these diseases, while the indigenous peoples had no such immunity.


Modern history

During the European
Agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors such as watching tele ...
and
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
s, the
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and other demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancien ...

life expectancy
of children increased dramatically. The percentage of the children born in London who decreased from 74.5% in 1730–1749 to 31.8% in 1810–1829. Between 1700 and 1900, Europe's population increased from about 100 million to over 400 million. Altogether, the areas populated by people of European descent comprised 36% of the world's population in 1900. Population growth in the West became more rapid after the introduction of
vaccination Vaccination is the administration of a vaccine to help the immune system develop protection from a disease. Vaccines contain a microorganism or virus in a weakened, live or killed state, or proteins or toxins from the organism. In stimulating ...

vaccination
and other improvements in medicine and
sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The ...

sanitation
. Improved material conditions led to the population of Britain increasing from 10 million to 40 million in the 19th century. The population of the United Kingdom reached 60 million in 2006. The United States saw its population grow from around 5.3 million in 1800 to 106 million in 1920, exceeding 307 million in 2010. The first half of the 20th century in
Imperial Russia The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
was marked by a succession of major wars, famines and other disasters which caused large-scale population losses (approximately 60 million excess deaths). After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's population declined significantly – from 150 million in 1991 to 143 million in 2012 – but by 2013 this decline appeared to have halted. Many countries in the
developing world A developing country is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, ...
have experienced extremely rapid population growth since the early 20th century, due to economic development and improvements in public health. China's population rose from approximately 430 million in 1850 to 580 million in 1953, and now stands at over 1.3 billion. The population of the Indian subcontinent, which was about 125 million in 1750, increased to 389 million in 1941; today, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are collectively home to about billion people.
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...

Java
had about 5 million inhabitants in 1815; its present-day successor,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, now has a population of over 140 million. In just one hundred years, the population of Brazil decupled (x10), from about 17 million in 1900, or about 1% of the world population in that year, to about 176 million in 2000, or almost 3% of the global population in the very early 21st century. Mexico's population grew from 13.6 million in 1900 to about 112 million in 2010. Between the 1920s and 2000s, Kenya's population grew from 2.9 million to 37 million.


Milestones by the billions

It is estimated that the world population reached one billion for the first time in 1804. It was another 123 years before it reached two billion in 1927, but it took only 33 years to reach three billion in 1960. Thereafter, the global population reached four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999 and, according to the United States Census Bureau, seven billion in March 2012. The number on this page is automatically updated daily. The United Nations, however, estimated that the world population reached seven billion in October 2011. According to current projections, the global population will reach eight billion by 2024, and is likely to reach around nine billion by 2042. Alternative scenarios for 2050 range from a low of 7.4 billion to a high of more than 10.6 billion.* * * * * Projected figures vary depending on underlying statistical assumptions and the variables used in projection calculations, especially the . Long-range predictions to 2150 range from a population decline to 3.2 billion in the "low scenario", to "high scenarios" of 24.8 billion. One extreme scenario predicted a massive increase to 256 billion by 2150, assuming the global fertility rate remained at its 1995 level of 3.04 children per woman; however, by 2010 the global fertility rate had declined to 2.52. There is no estimation for the exact day or month the world's population surpassed one or two billion. The points at which it reached three and four billion were not officially noted, but the International Database of the United States Census Bureau placed them in July 1959 and April 1974 respectively. The United Nations did determine, and commemorate, the "Day of 5 Billion" on 11 July 1987, and the "Day of 6 Billion" on 12 October 1999. The Population Division of the United Nations declared the " Day of 7 Billion" to be 31 October 2011.


Global demographics

As of 2012, the global
sex ratio The sex ratio is the ratio In mathematics, a ratio indicates how many times one number contains another. For example, if there are eight oranges and six lemons in a bowl of fruit, then the ratio of oranges to lemons is eight to six (that is, 8 ...

sex ratio
is approximately 1.01 males to 1 female. The greater number of men is possibly due to the significant sex imbalances evident in the Indian and Chinese populations. Approximately 26.3% of the global population is aged under 15, while 65.9% is aged 15–64 and 7.9% is aged 65 or over. The median age of the world's population was estimated to be 29.7 years in 2014, and is expected to rise to 37.9 years by 2050. According to the
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unit ...
, the global average
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and other demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancien ...
is 73.3 years as of 2020, with women living an average of 75.9 years and men approximately 70.8 years. In 2010, the global
fertility rate The total fertility rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if: # she was to experience the exact current age-specific rates (ASFRs) through her lifetime # she was to live from ...

fertility rate
was estimated at 2.44 children per woman. In June 2012, British researchers calculated the total weight of Earth's human population as approximately , with the average person weighing around . The
IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monu ...

IMF
estimated nominal 2021
gross world product The gross world product (GWP) is the combined gross national income The Gross National Income (GNI), previously known as Gross National Product (GNP), is the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of a country, consisting of Gr ...
at US$94.94 trillion, giving an annual global per capita figure of around US$12,290. Around 9.3% of the world population live in
extreme poverty Extreme poverty, deep poverty, abject poverty, absolute poverty, destitution, or penury, is the most severe type of poverty Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income Income is the consumption and saving oppor ...
, subsisting on less than US$1.9 per day; around 8.9% are
undernourished Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a Diet (nutrition), diet which does not supply a healthy amount of one or more nutrients. This includes diets that have too little nutrients or so many that the diet causes health problems. T ...
. 83% of the world's over-15s are considered
literate Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write in at least one method of writing, an understanding reflected by mainstream dictionaries. Correspondingly, the term ''illiteracy'' is considered to be the inability to read an ...
. In June 2014, there were around 3.03 billion global Internet users, constituting 42.3% of the world population. The
Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four ...
are the world's largest single ethnic group, constituting over 19% of the global population in 2011. The world's most-spoken languages are
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
(1,132M),
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more ...
(1,117M),
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
(615M),
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
(534M) and (280M). More than three billion people speak an Indo-European language, which is the largest language family by number of speakers. Standard Arabic is a language with no native speakers, but the total number of speakers is estimated at 274 million people. The 2020 religious composition of the world is estimated to be as follows:
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
(31.1%),
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
(24.9%), Unaffliated ( and
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
the third, accounting for 15.2%.


Largest populations by country


10 most populous countries

Approximately 4.45 billion people live in these ten countries, representing around 57% of the world's population as of September 2020.


Most densely populated countries

The tables below list the world's most densely populated countries, both in absolute terms and in comparison to their total populations.


Fluctuation

Population size fluctuates at differing rates in differing regions. Nonetheless, population growth is the long-standing trend on all inhabited continents, as well as in most individual states. During the 20th century, the global population saw its greatest increase in known history, rising from about 1.6 billion in 1900 to over 6 billion in 2000. A number of factors contributed to this increase, including the lessening of the
mortality rate Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a particular Statistical population, population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time. Mortality rate is typically e ...
in many countries by improved sanitation and
medical advances Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment or Palliative care , palliation of their injury or dise ...
, and a massive increase in agricultural productivity attributed to the
Green Revolution The Green Revolution, or the Third Agricultural Revolution, is the set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, beginning most markedly in the late ...

Green Revolution
. In 2000, the United Nations estimated that the world's population was growing at an annual rate of 1.1% (equivalent to around 75 million people), down from a peak of 88 million per year in 1989. By 2000, there were approximately ten times as many people on Earth as there had been in 1700. Globally, the population growth rate has been steadily declining from its peak of 2.2% in 1963, but growth remains high in Latin America, the Middle East, and
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
. During the 2010s, Japan and some countries in Europe began to encounter
negative population growth Negative Population Growth is an organization in the United States, founded in 1972. NPG works on Human overpopulation, overpopulation issues and advocates a gradual reduction in U.S. and world population. NPG believes the optimal population for ...
(i.e. a
net Net or net may refer to: Mathematics and physics * Net (mathematics) In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they ...
decrease in population over time), due to
sub-replacement fertility Sub-replacement fertility is a total fertility rate (TFR) that (if sustained) leads to each new generation A generation is "all of the people born and living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that disti ...
rates. In 2006, the United Nations stated that the rate of population growth was visibly diminishing due to the ongoing global
demographic transition In demography Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek δῆμος (''dēmos'') meaning 'the people', and ''-graphy'' from γράφω (''graphō'') meaning 'writing, description or measurement') is the statistics, statistical s ...
. If this trend continues, the rate of growth may diminish to zero by 2050, concurrent with a world population plateau of 9.2 billion. However, this is only one of many estimates published by the UN; in 2009, UN population projections for 2050 ranged between around 8 billion and 10.5 billion. An alternative scenario is given by the statistician Jorgen Randers, who argues that traditional projections insufficiently take into account the downward impact of global urbanization on fertility. Randers' "most likely scenario" reveals a peak in the world population in the early 2040s at about 8.1 billion people, followed by decline. Adrian Raftery, a
University of Washington The University of Washington (UW, simply Washington, or informally U-Dub) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...

University of Washington
professor of statistics and of sociology, states that "there’s a 70 percent probability the world population will not stabilize this century. Population, which had sort of fallen off the world’s agenda, remains a very important issue." File:Population curve.svg, Estimated world population figures, 10,000 BC–AD 2000 File:World population growth (lin-log scale).png, Estimated world population figures, 10,000 BC–AD 2000 (in ) File:World population history.svg, World population figures, 1950–2017


Annual population growth


Population growth by region

The table below shows historical and predicted regional population figures in millions. The availability of historical population figures varies by region.


Past population

The following table gives estimates, in millions, of population in the past. The data for 1750 to 1900 are from the UN report "The World at Six Billion" whereas the data from 1950 to 2015 are from a UN data sheet.. Linked to a
Download Files
where it states that the figures are for 1 July of the given year.
Using the above figures, the change in population from 2010 to 2015 was: * World: +420 million * Africa: +142 million * Asia: +223 million * Europe: +3 million * Latin America and Caribbean: +35 million * Northern America: +14 million * Oceania: +2.9 million


Projections

Long-term global population growth is difficult to predict. The United Nations and the US Census Bureau both give different estimates – according to the UN, the world population reached seven billion in late 2011, while the USCB asserted that this occurred in March 2012. The UN has issued multiple projections of future world population, based on different assumptions. From 2000 to 2005, the UN consistently revised these projections downward, until the 2006 revision, issued on 14 March 2007, revised the 2050 mid-range estimate upwards by 273 million. Average global
birth rate The crude birth rate (CBR) in a period is the total number of live births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; population ...
s are declining fast, but vary greatly between developed countries (where birth rates are often at or below replacement levels) and developing countries (where birth rates typically remain high). Different ethnicities also display varying birth rates.
Death rate Mortality rate, or death rate, is a measure of the number of death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a conditi ...
s can change rapidly due to disease epidemics,
wars War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
and other mass catastrophes, or advances in medicine. 2012 United Nations projections show a continued increase in population in the near future with a steady decline in population growth rate; the global population is expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. 2003 UN Population Division population projections for the year 2150 range between 3.2 and 24.8 billion. One of many independent mathematical models supports the lower estimate, while a 2014 estimate forecasts between 9.3 and 12.6 billion in 2100, and continued growth thereafter. The 2019 Revision of the UN estimates gives the "medium variant" population as; nearly 8.6 billion in 2030, about 9.7 billion in 2050 and about 10.9 billion in 2100. In December 2019, the German Foundation for World Population projected that the global population will reach 8 billion by 2023 as it increases by 156 every minute. In a modelled future projection by the
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is a research institute working in the area of global health statistics and impact evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. The Institute is headed by Christopher J.L. Murray, ...
the global population was projected to peak in 2064 at 9.73 billion people and decline to 8.79 billion in 2100. Some analysts have questioned the sustainability of further world population growth, highlighting the growing pressures on the environment, global food supplies, and energy resources.


Mathematical approximations

In 1975, Sebastian von Hoerner proposed a formula for population growth which represented
hyperbolic growth When a quantity grows towards a under a finite variation (a "") it is said to undergo hyperbolic growth. More precisely, the 1/x has a as a graph, and has a singularity at 0, meaning that the as x \to 0 is infinite: any similar graph is said ...
with an infinite population in 2025. The hyperbolic growth of the world population observed until the 1970s was later correlated to a non-linear second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. This feedback can be described as follows: technological advance → increase in the
carrying capacity The carrying capacity of an environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical ...
of land for people → demographic growth → more people → more potential inventors → acceleration of technological advance → accelerating growth of the carrying capacity → faster population growth → accelerating growth of the number of potential inventors → faster technological advance → hence, the faster growth of the Earth's carrying capacity for people, and so on. The transition from hyperbolic growth to slower rates of growth is related to the
demographic transition In demography Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek δῆμος (''dēmos'') meaning 'the people', and ''-graphy'' from γράφω (''graphō'') meaning 'writing, description or measurement') is the statistics, statistical s ...
. According to the Russian demographer , the world population grew between 67,000 BC and 1965 according to the following formula: : N = \frac \arccot \frac, where : ''N'' is current population, : ''T'' is the current year, : ''C'' = (1.86 ± 0.01)·1011, : ''T''0 = 2007 ± 1, : \tau = 42 ± 1.


Years for world population to double

According to linear interpolation and extrapolation of UNDESA population estimates, the world population has doubled, or will double, in the years listed in the tables below (with two different starting points). During the 2nd millennium, each doubling took roughly half as long as the previous doubling, fitting the hyperbolic growth model mentioned above. However, after 2024, it is unlikely that there will be another doubling of the global population in the 21st century.


Number of humans who have ever lived

Estimates of the total number of humans who have ever lived range is estimated to be of the order of 100 billion. Such estimates can only be rough approximations, as even modern population estimates are subject to uncertainty of around 3% to 5%." en recent demographic data is accurate only from 3 to 5%, although in demography traditionally more digits are indicated than those having a meaning. This is partially due to the ethical difficulty in rounding off numbers that supposedly represent real people, officially counted during a census". Sergei P. Kapitza, "The phenomenological theory of world population growth", ''Physics-Uspekhi'' 39(1) 57–71 (1996). Kapitsa (1996) cites estimates ranging between 80 and 150 billion. The PRB puts the figure at 117 billion as of 2020, estimating that the current world population is 6.7% of the all the humans who have ever lived. Haub (1995) prepared another figure, updated in 2002 and 2011; the 2011 figure was approximately 107 billion. ''Note: text of paper publication slightly different from text of on-line publication''. Haub characterized this figure as an estimate that required "selecting population sizes for different points from antiquity to the present and applying assumed birth rates to each period". Robust population data only exist for the last two or three centuries. Until the late 18th century, few governments had ever performed an accurate census. In many early attempts, such as in
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...
and the
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Grea ...

Persian Empire
, the focus was on counting merely a subset of the population for purposes of taxation or military service.Kuhrt, A. (1995). ''The Ancient Near East, c. 3000–330 BCE''. Vol. 2. London: Routledge. p. 695. Thus, there is a significant margin of error when estimating ancient global populations. Pre-modern
infant mortality Infant mortality is the death of young children under the age of 1. This death toll is measured by the infant mortality rate (IMR), which is the probability of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. The under-five mortalit ...

infant mortality
rates are another critical factor for such an estimate; these rates are very difficult to estimate for ancient times due to a lack of accurate records. Haub (1995) estimates that around 40% of those who have ever lived did not survive beyond their first birthday. Haub also stated that "
life expectancy at birth Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have Death ...
probably averaged only about ten years for most of human history", which is not to be mistaken for the life expectancy after reaching adulthood. The latter equally depended on period, location and social standing, but
calculations A calculation is a deliberate process that transforms one or more inputs into one or more results. The term is used in a variety of senses, from the very definite arithmetic Arithmetic (from the Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:en:ἀριθμός#Anc ...
identify averages from roughly 30 years upward.


See also


Explanatory notes


References


Further reading

*
"World Population Prospects, the 2012 Revision"
United Nations Population Division. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
"World Population Prospects, the 2010 Revision"
United Nations Population Division. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
"World Population History Graph"
World population graph 10000 BC – AD 1950.

Demographia.ru. Retrieved 25 June 2013. *
World
. ''The World Factbook''. US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Retrieved 6 November 2012.
"The World in Balance"
(transcript). Two-part PBS ''Nova'' episode on world population. 20 April 2004. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
"The Environmental Politics of Population and Overpopulation"
University of California, Berkeley. 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
"Global population: Faces of the future"
''The Economist''. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
"Creating new life – and other ways to feed the world"
BBC News. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
World Population Growth
(Oct 2016), Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser, OurWorldInData.org *


External links

Organizations
The Day of 6 Billion
an
7 Billion
– Official homepages maintained by UNFPA
Population Reference Bureau
– News and issues related to population
Berlin Institute for Population and Development
Statistics and maps
HiveGroup.com – World population statistics presented in a treemap interface


Population clocks
U.S. and World Population Clock (US Census Bureau)
{{DEFAULTSORT:World Population World population, Cultural globalization Human overpopulation