Sunday, August 29, 2010

There are more people alive today...

  The total number of humans that have ever lived has been estimated at 110 billion.
  Approximately 6% of all those people are alive today.

Figure 1: Human Population Growth over Time

The human population growth of the last century has been truly phenomenal. It required only 40 years after 1950 for the population to double from 2.5 billion to 5 billion. This doubling time is less than the average human lifetime. The world population passed 6 billion just before the end of the 20th century.  Present estimates are for the population to reach 8-12 billion before the end of the 21st century. During each lecture hour, more than 10,000 new people enter the world, a rate of ~3 per second!

Of the 6 billion people, about half live in poverty and at least one fifth are severely undernourished. The rest live out their lives in comparative comfort and health.

Link: Population Growth Over Human History


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