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World population

From Academic Kids

World population 1950-2000
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World population 1950-2000
Increase rate 1950-2000
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Increase rate 1950-2000

The world population is the total number of humans alive at a given time. According to estimates published by the United States Census Bureau, the world population in June 2005 was ~6,556,773,622. In line with population projections, this figure continues to grow at rates that are unprecedented prior to the 20th century. Approximately one fifth of all humans in the last six thousand years are currently alive. By some estimates, there are now one billion (thousand million) young people in the world between the ages of 15 and 24.

Contents

When was six billion reached?

The United Nations Population Fund designated October 12, 1999 as the approximate day on which world population reached six billion. This was about 12 years after world population reached five billion, in 1987. The child that has been proclaimed by the United Nations Population Fund and welcomed by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the six billionth baby, was born on the designated day two minutes after midnight, not in India or China, as might be expected, but to Fatima Nevic and her husband Jasminko in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Rate of population increase

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The last 70 years of the 20th century saw the biggest increase in the world's population in human history. The following table shows when each billion milestone was met:

  • 1 billion reached in 1802.
  • 2 billion reached in 1927.
  • 3 billion reached in 1961.
  • 4 billion reached in 1974.
  • 5 billion reached in 1987.
  • 6 billion reached in 1999.

From the figures above, the world's population has tripled in 72 years, and doubled in 38 years up to the year of 1999.

Missing image
AreaPerCapita_500_BC_to_2050_AD.PNG

Including a few more estimates (beginning with 250 million in 950 and ending with 8 billion in 2027), the world population was doubled by the following years (doubling times in parentheses):

  • 950 (650) 1600 (202) 1802 (125) 1927 (44) 1971 (56) 2027,

or (beginning with 375 million in 1420):

  • 1420 (300) 1720 (155) 1875 (86) 1961 (38) 1999.

The UN estimated in 2000 that the world's population was then growing at the rate of 1.2 percent (or 77 million people) per year. This represents a decrease in the growth rate from its level in 1990, mostly due to decreasing birth rates.

As of 2004, the world's population is increasing at a rate of 75 million people per year.

Forecast of world population

The future growth of population is difficult to predict. Birth rates are declining slightly on average, but vary greatly between developed countries (where birth rates are often at or below replacement levels) and developing countries. Death rates can change unexpectedly due to disease, wars and catastrophes, or advances in medicine. The UN itself has issued multiple projections of future world population, based on different assumptions. Over the last 10 years, the UN has consistently revised its world population projections downward.

The current projections from the UN's Population Division, from their 2004 revision of the World Population Prospects database [1] (http://esa.un.org/unpp/), are:

Year Population (billions)
2010 6.8
2020 7.6
2030 8.2
2040 8.7
2050 9.1

Other projections of population growth predict that the world's population will eventually crest, though it is uncertain exactly when or how. In some scenarios, the population will crest as early as the mid-21st century at under 10 billion, due to gradually decreasing birth rates.

In less optimistic scenarios, disasters triggered by a growing population's demand for scarce resources will cause a sudden population crash, or even a Malthusian catastrophe. (See overpopulation for more details.)

Doomsayers

In 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted that population growth would eventually outrun food supply, resulting in catastrophe. In 1968 Paul R. Ehrlich reignited this argument with his book The Population Bomb, which helped give the issue significant mindshare throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The dire predictions of Ehrlich and other neo-Malthusians were vigourously challenged by a number of economists, notably Julian Simon. Child poverty has been linked to people having children before they have the means to care for them.

More recently, some scholars have put forward the Doomsday argument applying Bayesian probability to world population to argue that the end of humanity will come sooner than we usually think (toxic waste rather than food shortages).

Different continents

Missing image
World_population_evolution.png
Population evolution in different continents
Source: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ United Nations

The vertical axis of the chart above is in thousands. Likewise, the population figures in the table below are in thousands.

Year World Africa Asia Europe Latin-America North America Oceania
1750 791000 106000 502000 163000 16000 2000 2000
1800 978000 107000 635000 203000 24000 7000 2000
1850 1262000 111000 809000 276000 38000 26000 2000
1900 1650000 133000 947000 408000 74000 82000 6000
1950 2518629 221214 1398488 547403 167097 171616 12812
1955 2755823 246746 1541947 575184 190797 186884 14265
1960 3021475 277398 1701336 604401 218300 204152 15888
1965 3334874 313744 1899424 634026 250452 219570 17657
1970 3692492 357283 2143118 655855 284856 231937 19443
1975 4068109 408160 2397512 675542 321906 243425 21564
1980 4434682 469618 2632335 692431 361401 256068 22828
1985 4830979 541814 2887552 706009 401469 269456 24678
1990 5263593 622443 3167807 721582 441525 283549 26687
1995 5674380 707462 3430052 727405 481099 299438 28924
2000 6070581 795671 3679737 727986 520229 315915 31043
2005 6453628 887964 3917508 724722 558281 332156 32998
2010 6830283 984225 4148948 719714 594436 348139 34821
2015 7197247 1084540 4370522 713402 628260 363953 36569
2020 7540237 1187584 4570131 705410 659248 379589 38275
2025 7851455 1292085 4742232 696036 686857 394312 39933
2030 8130149 1398004 4886647 685440 711058 407532 41468
2035 8378184 1504179 5006700 673638 731591 419273 42803
2040 8593591 1608329 5103021 660645 747953 429706 43938
2045 8774394 1708407 5175311 646630 759955 439163 44929
2050 8918724 1803298 5222058 631938 767685 447931 45815

External links


ca:Poblaci mundial de:Weltbevlkerung fr:Population mondiale ja:世界人口 nl:Wereldbevolking pl:Ludność świata tr:Dnya nfusu

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