How many people live in the world?
The world’s population today is about 7.6 billion. Of the individuals currently living, the average age is about 30.1 years. Just over a quarter of the population is under 15 years old. Individuals between 15 and 64 years of age account for 65.9% of the population and another 7.9% are 65 or older. The World Health Organization suggests that the global average life expectancy is 70.5 years, with men living to 68 and women to 73 years. The global fertility rate is around 2.52 children per woman.
History of population growth
The human population began to grow significantly at the same time agriculture was discovered, around 10,000 B.C. at this point in history, the world’s population was somewhere between 1 and 15 million. In the 4th century BC, between 50 million and 60 million people lived in the Roman Empire alone. As the world’s population continued to grow, disease plagued and large numbers of people were wiped out. Between the years 500 and 800 AD, for example, the Justinian Plague killed about half of the European population. By the time of the 14th century, people had recovered and numbered around 450 million worldwide. However, the Black Plague took about 100 million lives in the year 1400 AD. Two centuries had passed before the population recovered from the losses of the Black Plague.
The agricultural and industrial revolutions between the 18th and 20th centuries fostered the next major period of population growth. During this period, hygiene practices improved, vaccines were created, and life expectancy grew. By 1804, the world’s population had reached 1 billion for the first time. Since then, the world population has grown exponentially, with the 2 note in 1927, the 3 note in 1960, the 4 note in 1974, the 5 note in 1987, 6 billion in 1999 and finally the 7 billion mark in 2011.
The most populous countries and cities
The continent of Asia is home to 60% of the world’s population and is the top 2 most populous countries in the world, China and India. Together, these two countries contain 37% of the world’s population.
China has a population of over 1.38 billion. In China, there are 12.37 births for every 1,000 people in the population and only 7.16 deaths per 1,000. Life expectancy in the country is 75.35 years. About 73.4% of the population is between 15 and 64 years old. The fertility rate is 1.55 children per woman.
In India, the population is slightly larger than 1.33 billion. This number accounts for 18% of the world’s population. The most populous city in this country is Mumbai with over 12.44 million individuals. Delhi is the second most populous and has a population of 11,034,555. In India, the birth rate is 19.3 for every 1,000 people, while there are 7.3 deaths per 1,000. Life expectancy in this country is 68.89 years old. Around 63.6% of the population is between 15 and 64 years old. The fertility rate is 2.3 children per woman.
The third most populous country in the world is the United States. It has a total population of around 324,707,000. The most populous city in this country is New York City with 8.55 million people. In this country, there are 13.42 births for every 1,000 persons and 8.15 deaths per 1,000. Life expectancy is around 79.56 years. Around 66.2% of the population is between 15 and 64 years old. The fertility rate is 1.84 children per woman.
The fastest growing populations
The fastest growing populations in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. This does not mean that these geographic regions have the highest populations, just that they are growing faster than other regions around the world. Currently, the global growth rate is around 1.14% which is lower than 2.19% in the 1960’s.
However, according to UN estimates, the following countries are growing much faster than that. The top 5 countries with the fastest growing populations are Oman (8.45% growth), Lebanon (5.99%), Kuwait (4.81%), Qatar (4.72%) and South Sudan (4.09%).
Interestingly, the rapidly growing cities are not located in these countries. Instead, most of the world’s fastest growing urban populations are found primarily in China and India. These cities are Suzhou, China (5.57%); Guangzhou, China (4.66%); Surat, India (4.4%); Luanda, Angola (4.25%); and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (4.17%).
Future population growth projections
Various organizations have tried to predict what the future world population will be like. The UN Population Division has estimated a population of 9 billion by 2050 and 10 billion by 2100. However, many other researchers believe that the population growth pattern at that time could actually be reversed. This is because in most countries around the world, the birth rate is actually falling. In some places it has reached two children per woman, and in others it is below that number. The replacement level is considered to be 2.1, the number of children needed to maintain the current population size. As mentioned earlier, the current global fertility rate is 2.52. If it reaches 2.1, the population is likely to remain between 9 and 10 billion.
How many people can support the Earth?
All these predictions about future population growth lead to a very important question: how many people can the earth support? While the number of people on earth continues to grow, the size of the planet and its resources do not. At some point, the population may become too much. Overpopulation of any kind leads to scarcity of resources. Various estimates have suggested different carrying capacities for the Earth (depending on resource use), ranging from 7.7 billion to 10 billion. Above those numbers, and people may face shortages in food, water and energy.
1 Asia 4,436 China (1,382,300,000) Greater Tokyo Area (35,676,000)
2 Africa 1,216 Nigeria (186,987,000) Lagos (21,000,000
3 Europe 738 Russia (143,439,000; about 110 million in Europe) Moscow (19,468,664)
4 North America [Note 2] 579 United States (324,118,000) Mexico City / Metro area (8,851,080 / 21,163,226)
5 South America 422 Brazil (209,567,000) São Paulo urban / urban area (11,316,149 / 27,640,577)
6 Oceania 39.9 Australia (24,309,000)Sydney (4,840,600
7 Antarctica 0.004 in summer (not permanent, varies) N / A McMurdo Station (1,200) (not permanent, varies)