Total World Population - History

Total World Population - History

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Total World Population

Demographics of the world

The Earth has a human population of 7.8 billion, with an overall population density of 50 people per km 2 (129 per sq. mile), excluding Antarctica. Nearly two-thirds of the world's population lives in Asia, with more than 2.7 billion in the countries of China and India combined. [1] [2] The world's literacy rate has increased dramatically in the last 40 years, from 66.7% in 1979 to 86.3% today. [3] Lower literacy levels are mostly attributable to poverty [ citation needed ] . Lower literacy rates are mostly found in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. [4] The world's largest ethnic group is Han Chinese, with Mandarin being the world's most spoken language in terms of native speakers.

The world's population is predominantly urban and suburban, [ citation needed ] and there has been significant migration toward cities and urban centres. The urban population jumped from 29% in 1950 to 55.3% in 2018. [5] [6] Extrapolating from the United Nations prediction that the world will be 51.3 percent urban by 2010, Dr. Ron Wimberley, Dr. Libby Morris and Dr. Gregory Fulkerson estimated 23 May 2007 would have been the first time the urban population outnumbered the rural population in history. [7] China and India are the most populous countries, [8] as the birth rate has consistently dropped in developed countries and until recently remained high in developing countries. Tokyo is the largest urban conglomeration in the world. [6] [9]

As of 2017, the total fertility rate of the world is estimated at 2.43 [10] children per woman, which is above the global average for the replacement fertility rate of approximately 2.33 (as of 2003), [11] meaning the world's population is growing. However, world population growth is unevenly distributed, with the total fertility rate ranging from one of the world's lowest 0.83 in Singapore, to the highest, 6.49 in Niger. [12] The United Nations estimated an annual population increase of 1.14% for the year of 2000. [13] The current world population growth is approximately 1.09%. [6] People under 18 years of age made up over a quarter of the world population (29.3%), and people age 65 and over made up less than one-tenth (7.9%) in 2011. [6]

The world population more than tripled during the 20th century from about 1.65 billion in 1900 to 5.97 billion in 1999. [14] [15] [16] It reached the 2 billion mark in 1927, the 3 billion mark in 1960, 4 billion in 1974, and 5 billion in 1987. [17] The overall population of the world is approximately 7.7 billion as of December 2018. Currently, population growth is fastest among low wealth, least developed countries. [18] The UN projects a world population of 9.15 billion in 2050, which is a 32.69% increase from 2010 (6.89 billion). [14]

2021 World Population by Country

The current US Census Bureau world population estimate in June 2019 shows that the current global population is 7,577,130,400 people on earth, which far exceeds the world population of 7.2 billion from 2015. Our own estimate based on UN data shows the world's population surpassing 7.7 billion.

China is the most populous country in the world with a population exceeding 1.4 billion. It is one of just two countries with a population of more than 1 billion, with India being the second. As of 2018, India has a population of over 1.355 billion people, and its population growth is expected to continue through at least 2050. By the year 2030, the country of India is expected to become the most populous country in the world. This is because India’s population will grow, while China is projected to see a loss in population.

The next 11 countries that are the most populous in the world each have populations exceeding 100 million. These include the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Of these nations, all are expected to continue to grow except Russia and Japan, which will see their populations drop by 2030 before falling again significantly by 2050.

Many other nations have populations of at least one million, while there are also countries that have just thousands. The smallest population in the world can be found in Vatican City, where only 801 people reside.

In 2018, the world’s population growth rate was 1.12%. Every five years since the 1970s, the population growth rate has continued to fall. The world’s population is expected to continue to grow larger but at a much slower pace. By 2030, the population will exceed 8 billion. In 2040, this number will grow to more than 9 billion. In 2055, the number will rise to over 10 billion, and another billion people won’t be added until near the end of the century. The current annual population growth estimates from the United Nations are in the millions - estimating that over 80 million new lives are added each year.

This population growth will be significantly impacted by nine specific countries which are situated to contribute to the population growth more quickly than other nations. These nations include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States of America. Particularly of interest, India is on track to overtake China's position as the most populous country by the year 2030. Additionally, multiple nations within Africa are expected to double their populations before fertility rates begin to slow entirely.

Global life expectancy has also improved in recent years, increasing the overall population life expectancy at birth to just over 70 years of age. The projected global life expectancy is only expected to continue to improve - reaching nearly 77 years of age by the year 2050. Significant factors impacting the data on life expectancy include the projections of the ability to reduce AIDS/HIV impact, as well as reducing the rates of infectious and non-communicable diseases.

Population aging has a massive impact on the ability of the population to maintain what is called a support ratio. One key finding from 2017 is that the majority of the world is going to face considerable growth in the 60 plus age bracket. This will put enormous strain on the younger age groups as the elderly population is becoming so vast without the number of births to maintain a healthy support ratio.

Although the number given above seems very precise, it is important to remember that it is just an estimate. It simply isn't possible to be sure exactly how many people there are on the earth at any one time, and there are conflicting estimates of the global population in 2016.

Some, including the UN, believe that a population of 7 billion was reached in October 2011. Others, including the US Census Bureau and World Bank, believe that the total population of the world reached 7 billion in 2012, around March or April.

As of 1 January 2021, the population of the world was estimated to be 7,851,163,856. This is an increase of 1.23 % (95,122,853 people) compared to population of 7,756,041,003 the year before. In 2020 the natural increase was positive, as the number of births exceeded the number of deaths by 94,859,658.

Below are the key figures for the world population in 2020:

  • 155,676,622 live births
  • 60,816,965 deaths
  • 3,961,345,487 males as of 31 December 2020
  • 3,889,818,369 females as of 31 December 2020
  • 4,239,628,482 people live in urban areas (54 % of total world population) />
  • 3,611,535,374 people live in rural areas (46 % of total world population) />

Mormons: World Population Numbers by Year

  • Ph.D., Public Administration and Public Affairs, Virginia Tech
  • M.L.S., Library and Information Science, Emporia State University
  • M.P.A., Political Science and Public Administration, Brigham Young University
  • B.A., Political Science, Brigham Young University

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is usually known as the LDS or Mormon Church. Total membership worldwide now numbers in the millions. The Church began in 1830 with only six members of record.

The LDS Church updates its total membership numbers every year and announces the new number in April at its General Conference. The number is also published in the following year's May issue of Ensign magazine.

Total membership statistics for 1830 to 1933 come from the Deseret News 2013 Church News Almanac, pages 211-212. Statistics up to the present are available at the Church's archive of Conference reports.

At least one researcher has projected significant growth in the numbers of LDS members for the rest of the 21st century, forecasting in ​2012 ​that the world would have more than 125 million Mormons by 2120.

Roman Empire Population

The census figures for the ancient world are estimates at best. Thanks to the concept of the Roman Census, there are some figures specifically related to the Roman Empire, but these are often deemed unreliable as the people who were included in each periodic census could change (i.e. for counting actual population vs. citizen males vs. provincial citizens for tax purposes etc).

Prior to the mid 4th century BC, all surviving figures are generally disregarded as completely fictitious, but after that, a pattern of reasonable population figures begins to emerge. However, it is still difficult to determine, especially as the Roman Republic expanded to include various provinces, whether population figures include these areas, or just the city of Rome itself. Also clouding the science of the census is whether or not the count in various years was limited to male citizens, citizens and their families, women, freedmen, slaves and/or everybody else in between.

Understanding these difficulties, there is little choice but to determine the population of the Roman Empire using various consensus estimates. The population of the world circa AD 1 has been considered to be between 200 and 300 million people. In that same period, the population of the early empire under Augustus has been placed at about 45 million. Using 300 million as the world benchmark, the population of the Empire under Augustus would've made up about 15% of the world's population. Of this 45 million people, Augustus declared within his own census information that:

  • In 28 BC the citizen population was 4,063,000 (including both men and women)
  • In 8 BC - 4,233,000
  • In AD 14 - 4,937,000

By contrast, in the census of 70 BC, prior to the major civil wars of the late Republic (and considerably more conquests in Gaul and the East), some have estimated the population of the 'Empire' at a more considerable 55 to 60 million people. This falls more in line with estimates at the height of imperial power in the mid 2nd century AD, and might be inflated considering the lack of the previously mentioned expansion.

The census of 70 BC showed 910,000 men held citizenship, which is far short of the Augustan citizen numbers (roughly 4 million), but more than the overall numbers (roughly 45 million) just a century later. The large discrepancy would seem to account for the fact that Augustus probably counted more than even citizen men and related family members (including women). He may have included non-citizen freemen, freedmen and slaves as well, but this we can never be certain of.

A Claudian census in 47 AD places citizen population at just under 7 million people. This, despite its near unbelievable rate of growth from just 50 years prior, can be partially attested by the great vilification of Claudius for including Gauls and other provincials in the Senate, as well increasing the citizen roles. In fact, citizen growth was more a measure of Romanization than it was of birth rate. By this time, Roman citizenship was experiencing its first major shift from something of Italian origin, that would continue to evolve over the next few centuries.

At the height of Roman power in the mid 2nd century AD, conservative opinion is that the Empire was comprised of some 65 million people. Assuming that the world population was still roughly about 300 million people, this would mean that the Roman population was approximately 21% of the world's total. However, less conservative estimates have added far more people living within the official borders of the Empire, perhaps as much as doubling the figure.

With this in mind, the population of the Empire may have approached 130 million people or perhaps over 40% of the world's total! However, as these numbers for the ancient period are widely divergent and imprecise, it could be assumed that either number or any in between has the potential to be correct. Still, the increase from 45 to 65 million in about a century is believable, and can be credited to the conquests of Britannia and Dacia, and several annexations of client kingdoms dating from the time of Augustus (mostly by Claudius).

Breaking down the 65 million population estimate, some additional assumptions can be made:

  • i) 500,000 soldiers (legionaries totalling 150,000 and auxilia making up the rest)
  • ii) Approximately 600 Senators made up the elite of the elite.
  • iii) Perhaps up to 30,000 men filled the roles of Equestrians (knights), or the second tier of the aristocracy.
  • iv) 10 to 30% or 6 million to 19 million people lived in the cities, leaving the vast majority of some 46 to 59 million people to live in the country as independent and mostly tenant farmers.
  • v) Rome itself was made up of over 1 million people and, though it would shrink remarkably after the fall of the west, no city would surpass that number until the great urban population booms of the industrial age, 1,500 years or more later.
  • vi) The slave population of Rome approached 500,000 on its own, probably half of which were owned by the 600 men of the Senate. Additional estimates have suggested that of the total 65 million people, 2 to 10 million may have been slaves.

After the plagues of the 160's to 170's AD, and the wars of Marcus Aurelius, the population of the empire fell from its previous high, likely down to about 40 million in total. By the beginning of the 4th century, and the reign of Constantine, civil wars and foreign incursions had taken their toll. The number had grown again, likely to somewhere around 55 million, but the rate of growth had obviously slowed considerably.

By this time too, a major shift in imperial power was taking place from the west to the east. The population of Rome was in decline and Byzantium (or Constantinople) was on the rise. The west likely made up about 40% of the Empire's total population with the remainder in the east. By the mid 6th century, wars, disease and emigration brought the population of Rome perhaps as low as 30 thousand to 100 thousand people a far cry from its height just a few hundred years earlier. By contrast, in the same period, Constantinople may have numbered somewhere between 750,000 to 1 million people itself in the time of Justinian.

Growth of the World's Population

Today, almost 7 billion people live on our earth. Each year, the world&rsquos population grows by about 80 million. If it continues to grow at such a rate the world&rsquos population will reach 9 billion by the year 2035.

World Population from the Beginnings to the Present

Human beings have been living on earth for over a million years, but for a long time there were not very many of them. The world&rsquos population was never higher than 10 million. People died quickly because they didn&rsquot have enough food to eat. Early inhabitants were mostly hunters and fishers. Some of them gathered berries from wild plants. After people started growing crops and raising animals they had more food and lived longer.

When Jesus Christ was born about 2,000 years ago about 300 million people inhabited the earth. During the next 1500 years the population of the world grew very slowly. Many people died of illnesses and plagues . The Black Death , which sailors brought to Europe from Asia, killed about a third of the European population in the Middle Ages.

The Industrial Revolution , which began in the middle of the 18th century, started a period of rapid population growth , especially in Europe. Farmers were able to grow more and more food because they had machines to work with. New kinds of medicine helped to fight off many diseases that had killed millions of people in the centuries before. Humans also lived longer because they had cleaner drinking water.

Development of the world's population

Birth rates started to go up because families had many children. More babies than ever before survived the first few years of childhood . The one billion mark was reached in the early 1800s. In the next one hundred years the population doubled to 2 billion, and in 1960 there were 3 billion people living on earth.

The second half of the 20th century brought along some change :

  • In Europe , North America, Japan and Australia the birth rate dropped because families wanted to have fewer children. Population growth in these areas slowed down .
  • In the developing countries of Asia and Africa birth rates stayed high and better medical help in these regions lowered the death rates. That is why these countries are growing very rapidly .

In the last 30 years the world&rsquos population has doubled. The fastest growing region , Africa, has a growth rate of 2.8 %, the slowest growing region, Europe, about 0.3 %. On average, the world&rsquos population is growing at a rate of 1.5 % per year.

World Population: History, Explosion and World Population Trends | Essay

It is held that in the initial phase of human history and pre-history, the human population grew at a snail’s pace. The hazardous climatic conditions, the migratory character of early nomadic groups and the poor nourishment were all unfavourable for the growth of population.

Until modem times, there were relatively few humans living on this planet. One estimate placed the world population of a million years ago at only 1, 25,000 people. It has been estimated that the total population in 8000 BC was about 5 million people. Nowhere on the earth was population there. Until about 200 years ago, both birth and death rates were very high. As a result, the size of the world population remained stable. For every person who was born, someone died.

World Population Explosion:

We hear of atom bomb explosion and hydrogen bomb explosion. We might be afraid of them but we do not seem to be scared of population explosion. The population has exploded in last about 200 years and continues to accelerate rapidly.

In 1850, the world’s population was estimated to be 1 million. It doubled to 2 million by 1930. In 1975 it became 5 million and has reached 7 billion in 2011. Thus, it is clear that the world’s population has greatly increased in the last few years.

The phenomenal growth of world population in recent years, particularly after Second World War (i.e., period after 1945), can be attributed to changing patterns of birth and deaths. It is a period in which the world population, including India, experienced unprecedented growth. In most parts of the world today, the birth rate has not declined dramatically, but the death rate has dropped sharply.

For example, Japan’s decadal population growth is as low as 1.1 per cent China is growing at 5.4 per cent every 10 years, whereas India is growing as a whopping 17.6 per cent. Pakistan’s decadal growth rate is unbelievably 24.7 per cent. People who are born now live longer and add to numbers in the population.

The most significant increase has been in the developing nations where some 75 per cent of the world’s population is now concentrated. Although global population growth rates are gradually declining and many nations, especially in the developed world, have undergone demographic transition from state of growth to one population equilibrium.

India also experienced an explosive growth of 127.4 per cent only between the period 1961-1999. It was estimated that in India population growth prior to 1921 was sporadic between 1921 and 1951 it was rapid, and after 1951 it was called explosive.

Why has the death rate dropped? Death rates were high throughout most of human history because of poor nutrition and the prevalence of infectious diseases. People now are able to live longer because of advances in food production, better sanitation, nutrition and public health care. Modem science may have helped reduced the death rate from infectious diseases, such as plague, cholera, influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, measles, etc.

These diseases were major causes of death. After the introduction of penicillin and other drugs, these diseases started declining steadily. Although, they may have helped in arresting the diseases, the reduction in infectious diseases was more a result of better nutrition, better sanitation, better housing and over and above better food supply.

World Population Trends:

World’s population is increasing at a rate of about 1.3 per cent, representing a doubling time of 54 years. We can expect the world’s population of approxi­mately 6 billion to become 12 billion by 2054 if the current rate of growth continues. Forecasts used to suggest that crises of global overpopulation would escalate beyond control early in 21st century.

Reasons of this revolu­tionary rise of population are very many and can be summarized in the following points:

1. People today live longer as the malnutrition has been reduced, especially in so-called developed nations. The average life expectancy in such nations has increased from 40 to over 70 years. Currently, the major causes of deaths in these nations are heart disease, cancer, stroke and accidents. Malnutrition and starvation are still common among the world’s poor.

2. ‘Population always presses on the means of subsistence’—is factually untrue. Poverty is not the factor to lessen population growth. It is said that richer the nation, lower the population.

3. Higher birth rates, accompanied by large family tradition, especially in the underdeveloped nations, have helped in the increase of total population.

4. According to the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (June, 2006), some 191 million people now live outside their country of their birth and thus migration is a major feature of international life.

During the last five decades, the developed nations have passed through two different patterns of population growth:

(1) The first marked by high fertility and rapid growth, and

(2) the second marked by decline in fertility and little growth.

The State of World Population Report published by the United Nations (1982), indicated that a drop in the rate of population increase had at last occurred and the population will level off at about 10.54 billion in the year 2110. The report makes the following estimates of the world population at given times:

In poorer countries this reflects some success in the policy of governments and development agencies. In countries at an intermediate level of devel­opment, parents themselves often opt for smaller families, largely to secure higher living standards.

For achieving this, they adopt the policy of having a car rather than a child. Threat of large family tended the individuals to postpone or avoid marriage and to limit reproduction within marriage by every means available. In brief, it was the clash between new opportunities and large families.

Population By Continents

Asia is easily the most populated continent in the world at 4.6 billion people this equates to about 59 percent of the total global population. It is also the continent that has experienced the most growth. As of the mid-1950s, it grew by roughly three billion people, contributing to the quick global upswing.

Africa is the second most populated continent at 1.3 billion people, or seventeen percent of the total global population. While their numbers have not skyrocketed like Asia, they did experience significant growth, rising by more than a billion since the mid-1950s.

The five other continents all have populations under one billion, with Europe and both Americas all existing in the 400 to 700 million range. Growth over the past half-century has been noteworthy, but modest in comparison to the two continents above.

Australia has a current population of 42 million, or 0.55 percent of the total global population. To put this number in perspective, Tokyo, the capital of Japan and the most populated city in the world, has 39 million residents, just three less than the entire continent of Australia.

Lastly, Antarctica has a population of zero. Even though there are people who live in this southern and frigid region, they are not considered permanent residents or citizens.

20. Zika Virus epidemic: 2015-present day

The impact of the recent Zika epidemic in South America and Central America won't be known for several years. In the meantime, scientists face a race against time to bring the virus under control. The Zika virus is usually spread through mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, although it can also be sexually transmitted in humans.

While Zika is usually not harmful to adults or children, it can attack infants who are still in the womb and cause birth defects. The type of mosquitoes that carry Zika flourish best in warm, humid climates, making South America, Central America and parts of the southern United States prime areas for the virus to flourish.


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