What is the Total Population Since 4000 BC?

Conclusion: Based on the below article we need to make an adjustment since since the first Adamic man arose about 4000 BC, not 50,000 BC. The conclusion of this article is that today's population is 5.8% of the total number of people that have ever lived. The World PopClock Project says today's population is 6.45 billion (May 24, 2006). 6.45 billion is determined to be 5.8% of the total population that ever lived since 50,000 BC, which comes to, 111.2 billion.  If we take out the pre-adamic "dust" (Gen. 2.7) from 50,000 to 4000 BC we need to cut in half the population from 8000 BC to 1 BC and subtract it from the total. Half of 46 billion is is 23 billion. 111-23=88 billion.

How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth?

by Carl Haub

"How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth?" is the most requested Population Today article. It first appeared in February 1995.

(Population Today, November/December 2002) The question of how many people have ever lived on Earth is a perennial one among information calls to PRB. One reason the question keeps coming up is that somewhere, at some time back in the 1970s, a now-forgotten writer made the statement that 75 percent of the people who had ever been born were alive at that moment.

This factoid has had a long shelf life, even though a bit of reflection would show how unlikely it is. For this "estimate" to be true would mean either that births in the 20th century far, far outnumbered those in the past or that there were an extraordinary number of extremely old people living in the 1970s.

If this estimate were true, it would indeed make an impressive case for the rapid pace of population growth in this century. But if we judge the idea that three-fourths of people who ever lived are alive today to be a ridiculous statement, have demographers come up with a better estimate? What might be a reasonable estimate of the actual percentage?

Any such exercise can be only a highly speculative enterprise, to be undertaken with far less seriousness than most demographic inquiries. Nonetheless, it is a somewhat intriguing idea that can be approached on at least a semi-scientific basis.

And semi-scientific it must be, because there are, of course, absolutely no demographic data available for 99 percent of the span of the human stay on Earth. Still, with some speculation concerning prehistoric populations, we can at least approach a guesstimate of this elusive number.

Prehistory and History

Any estimate of the total number of people who have ever been born will depend basically on two factors: (1) the length of time humans are thought to have been on Earth and (2) the average size of the human population at different periods.

Fixing a time when the human race actually came into existence is not a straightforward matter. Various ancestors of Homo sapiens seem to have appeared at least as early as 700,000 B.C. Hominids walked the Earth as early as several million years ago. According to the United Nations' Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, modern Homo sapiens may have appeared about 50,000 B.C. This long period of 50,000 years holds the key to the question of how many people have ever been born.

At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was somewhere on the order of 5 million. (Very rough figures are given in the table; these are averages of an estimate of ranges given by the United Nations and other sources.) The slow growth of population over the 8,000-year period, from an estimated 5 million to 300 million in 1 A.D., results in a very low growth rate — only 0.0512 percent per year. It is difficult to come up with an average world population size over this period. In all likelihood, human populations in different regions grew or declined in response to famines, the vagaries of animal herds, hostilities, and changing weather and climatic conditions.

In any case, life was short. Life expectancy at birth probably averaged only about 10 years for most of human history. Estimates of average life expectancy in Iron Age France have been put at only 10 or 12 years. Under these conditions, the birth rate would have to be about 80 per 1,000 people just for the species to survive. Today, a high birth rate would be about 45 to 50 per 1,000 population, observed in only a few countries of Africa and in several Middle Eastern states that have young populations.

Our birth rate assumption will greatly affect the estimate of the number of people ever born. Infant mortality in the human race's earliest days is thought to have been very high — perhaps 500 infant deaths per 1,000 births, or even higher. Children were probably an economic liability among hunter-gatherer societies, a fact that is likely to have led to the practice of infanticide. Under these circumstances, a disproportionately large number of births would be required to maintain population growth, and that would raise our estimated number of the "ever born."

By 1 A.D., the world may have held about 300 million people. One estimate of the population of the Roman Empire, from Spain to Asia Minor, in 14 A.D., is 45 million. However, other historians set the figure twice as high, suggesting how imprecise population estimates of early historical periods can be.

By 1650, world population rose to about 500 million, not a large increase over the 1 A.D. estimate. The average annual rate of growth was actually lower from 1 A.D. to 1650 than the rate suggested above for the 8000 B.C. to 1 A.D. period. One reason for this abnormally slow growth was the Black Death. This dreaded scourge was not limited to 14th-century Europe. The epidemic may have begun about 542 A.D. in western Asia, spreading from there. It is believed that half the Byzantine Empire was destroyed in the sixth century, a total of 100 million deaths. Such large fluctuations in population size over long periods greatly compound the difficulty of estimating the number of people who have ever lived.

By 1800, however, world population had passed the 1 billion mark, and it has continued to grow since then to the current 6 billion.

Guesstimates

Guesstimating the number of people ever born, then, requires selecting population sizes for different points from antiquity to the present and applying assumed birth rates to each period (see table). We start at the very, very beginning — with just two people (a minimalist approach!).

How Many People Have Ever Lived On Earth?

Year Population Births per 1,000 Births Between Benchmarks
50,000 B.C. 2 - -
8000 B.C. 5,000,000 80 1,137,789,769
1 A.D. 300,000,000 80 46,025,332,354
1200 450,000,000 60 26,591,343,000
1650 500,000,000 60 12,782,002,453
1750 795,000,000 50 3,171,931,513
1850 1,265,000,000 40 4,046,240,009
1900 1,656,000,000 40 2,900,237,856
1950 2,516,000,000 31-38 3,390,198,215
1995 5,760,000,000 31 5,427,305,000
2002 6,215,000,000 23 983,987,500

 

Number who have ever been born 106,456,367,669
World population in mid-2002 6,215,000,000
Percent of those ever born who are living in 2002 5.8

Source: Population Reference Bureau estimates.

One complicating factor is the pattern of population growth. Did it rise to some level and then fluctuate wildly in response to famines and changes in climate? Or did it grow at a constant rate from one point to another? We cannot know the answers to these questions, although paleontologists have produced a variety of theories. For the purposes of this exercise, it was assumed that a constant growth rate applied to each period up to modern times. Birth rates were set at 80 per 1,000 per year through 1 A.D. and at 60 per 1,000 from 2 A.D. to 1750. Rates then declined to the low 30s by the modern period. (For a brief bibliography of sources consulted in the course of this alchemy, see "For More Information.")

This semi-scientific approach yields an estimate of about 106 billion births since the dawn of the human race. Clearly, the period 8000 B.C. to 1 A.D. is key to the magnitude of our number, but, unfortunately, little is known about that era. Some readers may disagree with some aspects — or perhaps nearly all aspects — of the table, but at least it offers one approach to this elusive issue. If we were to make any guess at all, it might be that our method underestimates the number of births to some degree. The assumption of constant population growth in the earlier period may underestimate the average population size at the time. And, of course, pushing the date of humanity's arrival on the planet before 50,000 B.C. would also raise the number, although perhaps not by terribly much.

So, our estimate here is that about 5.8 percent of all people ever born are alive today. That's actually a fairly large percentage when you think about it.

Carl Haub holds the Conrad Taeuber Chair of Population Information at PRB.

For More Information

Nathan Keyfitz, Applied Mathematical Demography (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1976).

Judah Matras, Population and Societies (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973).

Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones, Atlas of World Population History (New York: Facts on File, 1978).

United Nations, Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends (New York: United Nations, 1973).

United Nations, World Population Prospects as Assessed in 1963 (New York: United Nations, 1966).

United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2000 Revision (New York: United Nations, 2001).

 

Factoids & Frequently Asked Questions
March 18, 2006

 It is estimated that 106.4 billion people have ever lived. 2004 global population was 6.4 billion, which is only about 6% of the total number of people who have ever lived.

1/3 of the population growth in the world is the result of incidental or unwanted pregnancies.
December 28, 1998   from the Germany World Population Fund 010501

Seven Billion World Population in Six Years From Now.   The world population is predicted to reach the seven billion mark on Oct 18, 2012. World population hit the six billion mark in June 1999, over 3.5 times the population at the beginning of the 20th century and roughly double its size in 1960. The time for the global population to grow from 5 billion to 6 billion, a dozen years, was shorter than the interval between any of the previous billions. The population today is nearly four times the number in 1900. Behind that increase is a vast gulf in birth and death rates around the world.   Anyone care to make WOA!! a graph of these numbers? Maybe super-imposed on a graph of disappearing species. karen4392@karengaia.net   February 25, 2006   Indo-Asian News Service 016606

World Population Growth to Be Concentrated in Developing Nations.   By 2050, world population is projected to reach nine billion, a 38% jump from today's 6.5 billion, and more than five times the 1.6 billion people believed to have existed in 1900. Demographers foresee declining, aged populations in many industrialized nations, and growing, younger populations in the developing world. If projections hold true, future global population growth will be heavily concentrated in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. There is no natural growth in Europe, and the U.S. is very dependent on immigration. By 2050, Africa's population is expected to surge from 900 million to almost two billion, while South Asia's is projected to swell from 1.6 billion to nearly 2.5 billion. Europe's population is expected to shrink from 730 million to 660 million. Sobering words for African governments worried about population growth, or European governments concerned about an increasingly aged population, -- little can be done. Fertility rates will likely remain low in regions where babies are most-wanted, and highest in regions where poverty and hunger are prevalent. People are crowded in the cities and coastal plains. And that makes for problems. With higher density there are higher rates of crime, greater chance of epidemics. But population growth can generate a larger workforce and a bigger consumer base, which propel economic growth. The 50 year projections can prove inaccurate, since they involve predicting the habits of a generation yet to be born. In low-income areas there is continuing population growth. That seems to be a good argument for getting policies right rather than trying to fine-tune the birthrate. Efforts by European governments to promote higher birthrates have met with little success. Many developing nations promote contraception and there is a common thread where those programs have proven most successful: the empowerment of women. Research has shown that even a few years of education can have a great impact on fertility rates. The US population is expected to increase by one-third by 2050. The US continues to receive immigrants, predominantly from Latin America, and they tend to have higher birthrates than the domestic population.   Karen Gaia says: This article mixes fact with fiction. The U.S. is not dependent on immigration.   March 07, 2006   Voice of America 016694

33 Years Later: the Limits to Growth .   Dennis Meadows, the co-author of “The Limits to Growth”, which the Club of Rome issued in 1972 to spark the sustainability debate, says the Club of Rome was right in saying what it did. And since we have done nothing to address the concerns raised in the 1972 report, we have less time than before to take corrective action. The global population has grown from around 3.5 billion in 1972, to more than 6 billion today. Industrial production has gone from an index of about 180 in 1963 to more than 400. The index of world metals use has gone up more than 50%. The concentration of carbon dioxide has gone up increasing in 30 years by as much as in the previous 220. Mankind’s "global ecological footprint" has gone from a sustainability level of about 90% of the earth’s capacity, to 120%. We are beyond the sustainability point. We have not realised that we have crossed the sustainability limit because we are drawing down on nature’s bank balance and that cannot go on indefinitely. We have already used up half that grace period. The challenge now is the population must stop growing, and we must change our consumption, because we cannot continue to make today’s claims on the environment. India wants to get our income levels up from $600 per capita to at least $2,000, at which level there is no absolute poverty left. If you factor in what that will mean for energy and other non-renewable resources, it seems pretty obvious that what we have already seen in the markets for oil and iron ore are a foretaste of what is to come. Oil may already have reached the level of peak production, and what that means for the global economy is frightening. Does that mean that India and China should not aspire to what the developed economies have delivered by way of standards of living? It seems an unfair question when the west is unwilling to change its consumption habits. If neither happens, and even if some technological fixes can buy us some time, the message is straightforward. Things cannot go on as before.      August 14, 2005   Business Standard (India) 014840

Earth Has Nearly 6.5 Billion Inhabitants.   Earth has nearly 6.5 billion inhabitants, more than half in six countries. Of every 100 people, 61 live in Asia, 14 in Africa, 11 in Europe, nine in Latin America, five in North America and less than one in Oceania. Out of every 100 babies 57 are born in Asia, 26 in Africa, nine in Latin America, five in Europe, three in North America and less than one in Oceania. The six most populous countries -- China, India, the US, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan -- contain 3.3 billion inhabitants. Life expectancy is longest in Japan at 82 years, followed by Iceland and Switzerland at 80. People can expect to live just 36 years in Zimbabwe, 38 in Zambia and 40 in Malawi as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Population growth has slowed since the 1960s but the number of humans will increase to between nine and 10 billion by 2050. The increase will be biggest in some Asian countries and Africa. Agronomists say the earth has the potential to support many more inhabitants -- up to 15 billion. The question is how to share out the resources rather than whether we can produce enough," she said.   Ralph says: 15 billion? I doubt if this figure is correct and what standard of living will this entail?   June 23, 2005   Agence France-Presse 014319

UN Predicts 9.1 Billion People on Earth by 2050.   The UN reports the world’s population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion people by 2050. The majority of the increase is in developing countries. The increase is equivalent to the combined populations of China and India today. The overall trend shows a lower rate of growth, confirming that the population is slowly stabilizing. In developed nations declining birth rates means little or no population growth except in the U.S. which benefits from a high number of immigrants, who tend to have more children. Industrial countries are expected to see little change in their population of 1.2 billion. A decline is forecast by 2050 in Germany, Italy, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. Populations in Europe would fall further were it not for immigrants, estimated at 2.2 million each year. The population of developing nations is expected to climb from 5.3 billion in 2005 to 7.8 billion by 2050. Very rapid growth is forecast in the least-developed nations. Between 2005 and 2050, the population is projected to triple in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Uganda. In each of these countries, women would like less children, if they had the choice. By 2050 India will have surpassed China in population and the two will account for 50% of the world's inhabitants. Women in India have an average of 3 children compared to 1.7 children in China. The AIDS pandemic and other diseases are slowing population increases in about 60 developing countries. In southern Africa, where AIDS is prevalent, life expectancy has fallen from 62 in 1990-1995 to 48 in 2000-2005.      February 25, 2005   Times on Line (UK) 012959

Winners and Losers in World of Huge Population Change 9 Billion People.   The world's population is expected to rise from the current 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion by 2050. India's population will overtake China before 2030, while Britain will be bigger than France by 2025 but Scotland faces a decline. China has been exercising a birth control policy, although there are considering relaxing it because of the ageing population. India's higher fertility will overtake China as the world's most populated country. Britain's population will overtake France by having higher immigration. The population of the developed world will remain stable while Scotland faces population decline, with 5.05 million falling to 4.84 million by 2009. The rise of global population is a serious concern but has slowed in recent years. There will be 1,395 million people in India by 2025, and 1,593 million by 2050. China's population will grow to 1,441 million by 2025, before slipping back to 1,392 million in 2050. The UK's population will overtake France by 2025, rising from almost 60 million to more than 67 million by 2050 while France's population will have risen from 60.5 million to 63.1 million. France and Britain have similar birth and death rates, but the UN assumes that Britain will have a higher rate of immigration. The big concern is Africa. The UN's revision said the population in less-developed countries was expected to swell from 5.3 billion today to 7.8 billion in 2050. By contrast, the population of richer, developed countries will remain unchanged, at 1.2 billion. In 1950, the world's population stood at 2.5 billion, which rose to just over 4 billion by 1975. In 1999 it was just over 6 billion and by the start of 2004 had reached 6.3 billion. The expected growth has serious implications because it will be concentrated in countries that have problems providing adequate health and shelter. India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, the United States, Ethiopia and China are likely to contribute half of the world's population increase. The population is projected to at triple in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, the Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Uganda. In southern Africa, with the highest AIDS prevalence, life expectancy has fallen from 62 years in 1995 to 48 years and is projected to decrease to 43 over the next decade. China's changing population was due to uprooting people from rural lifestyles into an urban economy. China has an ageing population but the picture is much rosier for India which has a younger populationto power its economy and fertility rates are slowing down. Europe's population is on a downward trend and will drop from 728 million to 653 million in 2050. That figure includes population falls in Italy and Germany. By 2050, there will be 101 million Turks up from 73 million.      February 26, 2005   The Scotsman 012983

India World's Largest Nation by 2030, UN Says.   The UN's latest global population report predicted that India would reach 1.593 billion by 2050, while China will reach 1.392 billion. India will surpass China by 2030. India's fertility rate is over three children per woman while China's is about 1.7. The report also forecast that world population will hit 9.1 billion by 2050, with India and Pakistan seeing the biggest increases. But almost all of the growth will come in developing nations, and the overall increase is "inevitable" even though fertility rates in the developed world continue to plummet. In 15 nations mostly in Europe the birth rate has fallen below 1.3 children per woman. The U.S. increase is due to the continuing arrival of immigrants, who tend to have more children. Population is expected to triple in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, the DRC, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Uganda. The projections assume a decline in fertility from 2.6 children per woman to slightly more than 2 by 2050. The trend toward lower birth rates combined with longer life expectancy means that the world population will be getting older. Those more than 80 years old are believed to number around 86 million now and will soar to 394 million by mid-century.      February 25, 2005   Agence France Presse 012949

World Population 'to Rise by 40%'.   The world's population is expected to rise from 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion by 2050 with the growth in the developing world. The population of developed countries will remain at 1.2 billion. India will be the world's most populous country by 2030. The population in the world's 50 poorest countries will more than double by 2050. Afghanistan, Chad and East Timor will see their numbers going up three-fold. They are unable to provide shelter and food for all their people, but if fertility dropped, they would buy time to face the problems. Africa has seen life expectancy at birth decline from 62 in 1995 to 48 years in 2000-2005 due to the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, as well as armed conflicts and economic stagnation. The overall trend shows a lower rate of growth in the past 20 to 50 years. The population continues to grow but at a lower pace. By July 2005, the world will have 6.5 billion inhabitants, 380 million more than in 2000 or a gain of 76 million annually. Eight countries will account for half the population increase: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, the United States of America, Ethiopia and China, listed according to the size of their contribution to population growth.      February 25, 2005   BBC News 012951

Factolids from Engenderhealth   1) The use of contraception among couples in developing countries has increased from 10% in the early 1960's to 60% today. 2) During this period, the fertility rate fell from about six births per woman in the mid-1960's to below three per woman in 2000. 3) Global population growth has slowed to an annual rate of 1.35%, the lowest in decades. 4) Uncountable numbers of women and children have lived instead of died.   011173

At Least 150 Million Couples Throughout the World Want, but Do Not Have, Access to Reprductive Health Services..     009975

For An Additional $1.63 Per U.S. Taxpayer Per Year, 11.7 Million More Couples Would Have Access to Modern Contraception..     009976

The World's Population Has Doubled Since 1960 and by 2050 Human Population Will Likely Increase by 50%
    February 2004   009977

Factoids From Population Connection.  

  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported that hunger is a daily concern for 13.8% of Americans

  • There will be 125 million births in the world this year. By the time this group is ready to start school, there will have been another 625 million births.

  • Every 20 minutes, the human population grows by about 3,000. At the same time another plant or animal becomes extinct (27,000 each year).

  • According to the U.N., if fertility were to stay constant at 1995-2000 levels, the world population would soar to 244 billion by 2150 and 134 trillion by 2300.

  • The population of the U.S. tripled during the 20th century, but the U.S. consumption of raw materials increased 17-fold.
    US Census Bureau, UN Population Div, conservation.org   April 2004   Population Connection 010373

    World Population Growth Slower Than Expected Due to Lower Fertility Rate, AIDS-Related Deaths, U.N. Report Says.   During the 20th century, the worldwide fertility rate declined from 6 children per woman in 1900 to 2.7 in 2003, and will continue to fall over the next 300 years. A fertility rate of 1.85 would produce a population of 2.3 billion in 2300 a four-billion-decline from the current population. The most likely scenario, 2 children per woman, would result in a population of nine billion people in 2300. If fertility rates remained constant until 2300, the world population would reach 134 trillion. People are choosing small families, so we're likely to stabilize below 10 billion, but we need to help women have the number of children they want. The increase in population will occur in developing countries that will have an increase from 4.9 billion in 2000 to 7.7 billion in the next 300 years. Some developed countries will see declines in population if current fertility rates remain constant. The U.S. population is expected to increase from 295 million today to 523 million by 2300. The report predicts there will be more older people in 2300, with the median age increasing to 50 in 300 years. This the first time the United Nations has made population predictions for 300 years in the future. It said that developing nations such as Congo, Afghanistan and Liberia, will either make efforts to decrease fertility rates or face population declines due to "civil unrest, hunger and disease.   What was not said: It is likely that population could peak at much higher than 9 billion and then gradually subside to 9 billion or less in the years that follow.   December 11, 2003   Kaiser Weekly Reproductive Health Report 009380

    Human Population: The Next Half Century.   The world's population is expected to grow from 6.3 billion to 8.9 billion by 2050 if we continue to slow our rate of reproduction. If fertility remains at present levels, the population could reach 12.8 billion by 2050.      November 20, 2003   009308

    World Population: How Many Have Ever Lived.   An unknown writer claimed that "three-quarters of all the people who have ever been born are alive today". That erroneous statistic became accepted as fact. However, there is enough information to make a good guess as to how many people have ever lived on Earth. According to calculations a total of 106.4 billion people since man appeared about 50,000 B.C. That means that 5.8% of all the people who have ever been born are alive today. Every year, global population increases by about 78 million people. It is estimated that humanity is consuming the earth's resources 20% faster than they can be sustained. Until the modern era, world population grew slowly. During the next eight milleniums, population grew at .05% per year, reaching 300 million in 1 A.D. During the following 16 centuries, the annual growth rate fluctuated, partly because of the Black Death, which ravaged 14th century Europe. Today, there are six times as many people alive as at the start of the industrial revolution, 13 times more than when Columbus set sail and 20 times more than during the Roman Empire. There's an assumption that in pre- history women had as many babies as they could, so the birth rate would have been fairly high. Average life expectancy in Iron Age France have been pegged at only 10 or 12 years. There is considerable debate about when the human race actually came into existence.      December 23, 2002   Scripps Howard News Service 005096


    The Good News:
    Global fertility has fallen from 5 births per woman in the 1950s to 2.7 births per woman. The net ncrease is on the decrease, and has been since 1989, when annual growth topped out at more than 86 million. American Demographics, June 1999

    The Bad News:
    One billion teenagers are just entering their reproductive years - The largest "youthquake" ever. The world is growing by more than 76 million people a year. At the current rate of growth, even accounting for a continual decrease in the growth rate, the world population is headed for double digits within 50 years.

    Every 20 minutes, the world adds another 3,500 human lives but loses one or more entire species of animal or plant life - at least 27,000 species per year. ZGP July 1999

    World population growth peaked at about two percent per year in the early 1960s. Latest population figures indicate that the rate of growth has slowed to 1.33 percent annually, equivalent to 78 million people a year. UNFPA 1999

    World Population Doubles
    in Last 40 years

    The highest world population growth rate was 2.04 percent in the late 1960's. This year, it is about 1.31 percent. NY Times

    World population growth is equivalent to around three babies every second. UNFPA '99

    New inhabitants add the equivalent of a city the size of San Francisco to world population every three days. The Houston Chronicle Feb 2000

    The world's population broke through the one billion threshold in 1804. The second billion took 123 years to accumulate, and then each succeeding billion has come at an accelerating rate. UNFPA '99

    It took just 12 years to leap from 5 billion to 6 billion. In the 19th century global population grew by only 600 million, but in the 20th century it grew by 4.4 billion. There are twice as many people today as there were in 1960. Even with a continued decline in fertility rates, the United Nations projects a population of 8.9 billion in 2050. With current trends, world population isn't expected to stabilize until after 2080. UNFPA '99

    One tenth of all the people who have ever lived are alive today.

    Measuring from time of Christ Jesus, it took about 18 centuries for the earth to reach its first one billion inhabitants, one century to reach its second billion, one decade to get its last billion. from George Moffett, author of Critical Masses

     

    If fertility remained at current levels, the population would reach the absurd figure of 296 billion in just 150 years. Even if it dropped to 2.5 children per woman and then stopped falling, the population would still reach 28 billion. From "A Special Moment in History" by Bill McKibben from May 98 Atlantic Monthly

    There has been more growth in population since 1950 than during the 4 million years since our early ancestors first stood upright. Richard Estrada

    Population Data from 198 Nations - Fertility rates,
    Population doubling time in years, and Population in
    millions - in table form.
     

    Only 11% of the world's soils can be farmed without being irrigated, drained, or otherwise improved

    2 Billion people under the age of 20 in less developed regions.
    Aug 98 In sub-Saharan Africa, 45% of the population is under 15 years of age. From the 1998 World Population Data Sheet released by the Population Reference Bureau. Every year 18 percent of women 15-19 years of age give birth in Middle Africa; 5 percent in Southeast Asia, 1 percent in Western Europe.
     


    Oct 98 1998 World Population Overview And Outlook 1999 From the Population Institute.

    1994? Global and U.S. National Population Trends  By Carl Haub, of the Population Reference Bureau. Written for the US Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO)

    Oct 98 A tiny fraction - only 7 percent - of the world's people live in countries where population is not growing.

    Oct 98 The world is adding a city the size of Los Angeles every two weeks.

    Nov. 98 UN report Ninety-seven percent of world population growth is taking place in less developed regions.

    Oct 98 UN report The medium range projection for population in 2050 is 8.9 billion, down from a projection of 9.4 billion two years ago

    Oct 98 UN report Global average births are now 2.7 per woman, down from 5 in the early 1950s

    Oct 98 UN report In the 29 hardest-hit African countries, the life expectancy is currently seven years less than it would have been without AIDS

    Oct 98 UN report In 2050, one of every 25 individuals worldwide will be aged 80 or over; in 1998, only one in 100 people were over 80. 005469 Facts_item`U

    Factsheets

    Though more than two-thirds of the planet is covered with water, only a small fraction'"around 0.3 percent'"is available for human use and reuse. And no more of this renewable fresh water is available today than existed at the dawn of human civilization.   014766

     

  • UN Migration Wallchart For those interested in international migration issues, the United Nations has recently put out a new wall chart showing international migration numbers. An Excel data table with all of the core data is available at: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/ittmig2002/ittmig2002.htm 005112

     

  • USA Population Fact Sheet 005470

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

  • Biodiversity Factors It takes 1,000 years to grow 1 inch of soil, but it has taken 40 years to wash away one-third of the topsoil in the US. ... 120 million fish were caught by a single Norwegian boat in 1986, the number of people in Norway was 4 million. ... Reducing the use of pesticides by U.S. homeowners by 10% would remove 2 million kilograms of toxic chemicals from the environment each year. 700 million kilograms of chemicals would be removed from the environment each year if U.S. manufacturing firms reduced their releases by 10%. ... There were 100,000 black rhinos in Africa in the 1960s, but only 2,500 now. ... 350,000 pieces of live coral are broken off and purchased by Americans each year, by the rest of the world 90,000. ... Two 747s could fit in Yankee Stadium, 12 could fit in the largest factory ship net used to catch ocean fish. 011401

     

  • Alan Guttmacher 2004 In the world, 1.45 billion women are in their childbearing years, ages 15-44. 210 million of these women become pregnant each year. 63% of pregnancies result in live births; 22% in abortions, and 15% in miscarriage. Two out of five women who become pregnant have either an abortion or an unplanned birth. 011392

     

  • Why is an overpopulation group interested in Aids? Answer: AIDS is prevalent in Africa, where some of the world's biggest population growth is taking place. In Sub-Sahara Africa, it often the norm for unmarried females to have children to prove fertility so that they can be eligible for marriage. So, with the high promiscuity rate, the resulting high growth rate, and the high concentration of AIDS, there is the possibility that AIDS will mutate into a disease that is airborne (think: "Black Death", the Bubonic plague) 005653

     

  • How many people are born every second?

     

  • If Europe is experiencing a 'population implosion', should we stop worrying?

     

  • Isn't it true that the entire population of the world could fit inside Texas? 005471 Facts_faq`M

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