World Population Hits Seven Billion – Yikes!

by Mark Lovett on October 31, 2011

While counting the world’s population is an extremely difficult thing to accomplish, and various organizations publish different numbers, according to estimates coming from the United Nations, the world reached the 7 billion mark on October 31, 2011. How we got to this lofty number, and what the future holds, is an interesting tale.

  • 1 Billion by 1800 (250,000 years)
  • 2 Billion by 1930 (130 years)
  • 3 Billion by 1960 (30 years)
  • 4 Billion by 1974 (14 years)
  • 5 Billion by 1987 (13 years)
  • 6 Billion by 1999 (12 years)
  • 7 Billion by 2011 (12 years)
  • 8 Billion by 2025 (14 years estimated)
  • 9 Billion by 2050 (25 years estimated)

As you can see, it took quite some time to hit that first billion, and with high fertility rates and longer life expectancy the years required to hit 2, 3 and 4 billion was much shorter.  But the trend has leveled out at 12 years per billion, and with falling fertility rates the trend is expected to reverse itself in the coming decades.

How has the composition of humanity changed since 1960, when the population was just 3 billion, to today with more than double the number of people upon the planet, and how will the dynamics change as we head toward 9 billion mid-century?  In just 10 minutes Hans Rosling describes how our population might evolve along the way.

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On a final note, from a Global Patriot perspective, I found this video to be most appropriate for this moment in time, as in the end, we are all in this together!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark Goodkin November 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

I thought the message by Hans Rosling was generally positive. He doesn’t call for the massive regulation on population growth that many other experts have called for. He says greater prosperity is the key. He says, when people enjoy more prosperity, they will naturally limit family size. The question then becomes how a growing population can enjoy greater prosperity. Can such prosperity be sustained? I think that’s one of the major questions this blog, Global Patriot, seeks to address.

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