2020 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.

2020 World Population: 7,794,798,739
Flag Country 2020 (Live) 2019 Population Area 2019 Density Growth Rate World % Rank
China1,439,980,7761,433,783,6869,706,961 km²148/km²0.39%18.47%1
India1,381,661,9941,366,417,7543,287,590 km²420/km²0.99%17.70%2
United States331,242,642329,064,9179,372,610 km²35/km²0.59%4.25%3
Indonesia273,877,785270,625,5681,904,569 km²144/km²1.07%3.51%4
Pakistan221,415,017216,565,318881,912 km²250/km²2.00%2.83%5
Brazil212,740,937211,049,5278,515,767 km²25/km²0.72%2.73%6
Nigeria206,771,320200,963,599923,768 km²223/km²2.58%2.64%7
Bangladesh164,888,150163,046,161147,570 km²1,116/km²1.01%2.11%8
Russia145,940,568145,872,25617,098,242 km²9/km²0.04%1.87%9
Mexico129,098,362127,575,5291,964,375 km²66/km²1.06%1.65%10
Japan126,429,934126,860,301377,930 km²335/km²-0.30%1.62%11
Ethiopia115,314,862112,078,7301,104,300 km²104/km²2.57%1.47%12
Philippines109,761,216108,116,615342,353 km²320/km²1.35%1.41%13
Egypt102,570,963100,388,0731,002,450 km²102/km²1.94%1.31%14
Vietnam97,443,62296,462,106331,212 km²294/km²0.91%1.25%15
Dr Congo89,898,68386,790,5672,344,858 km²38/km²3.19%1.15%16
Germany83,810,54883,517,045357,114 km²235/km²0.32%1.07%17
Turkey84,447,23083,429,615783,562 km²108/km²1.09%1.08%18
Iran84,120,18782,913,9061,648,195 km²51/km²1.30%1.08%19
Thailand69,821,05869,625,582513,120 km²136/km²0.25%0.90%20
United Kingdom67,929,28567,530,172242,900 km²279/km²0.53%0.87%21
France65,293,07665,129,728551,695 km²118/km²0.22%0.84%22
Italy60,454,38360,550,075301,336 km²201/km²-0.15%0.78%23
South Africa59,400,23058,558,2701,221,037 km²49/km²1.28%0.76%24
Tanzania59,944,88458,005,463945,087 km²63/km²2.98%0.77%25
Myanmar54,455,83754,045,420676,578 km²80/km²0.67%0.70%26
Kenya53,918,23252,573,973580,367 km²93/km²2.28%0.69%27
South Korea51,276,40551,225,308100,210 km²512/km²0.09%0.66%28
Colombia50,943,10050,339,4431,141,748 km²45/km²1.08%0.65%29
Spain46,754,28846,736,776505,992 km²92/km²0.04%0.60%30
Argentina45,246,31244,780,6772,780,400 km²16/km²0.93%0.58%31
Uganda45,915,03944,269,594241,550 km²189/km²3.32%0.59%32
Ukraine43,702,74443,993,638603,500 km²72/km²-0.59%0.56%33
Algeria43,945,97143,053,0542,381,741 km²18/km²1.85%0.56%34
Sudan43,975,42842,813,2381,886,068 km²23/km²2.42%0.56%35
Iraq40,339,07939,309,783438,317 km²92/km²2.32%0.52%36
Afghanistan39,039,40638,041,754652,230 km²60/km²2.33%0.50%37
Poland37,840,63937,887,768312,679 km²121/km²-0.11%0.49%38
Canada37,782,79937,411,0479,984,670 km²4/km²0.89%0.48%39
Morocco36,963,99536,471,769446,550 km²83/km²1.20%0.47%40
Saudi Arabia34,882,99434,268,5282,149,690 km²16/km²1.59%0.45%41
Uzbekistan33,527,36232,981,716447,400 km²75/km²1.48%0.43%42
Peru33,023,55132,510,4531,285,216 km²26/km²1.42%0.42%43
Malaysia32,416,04731,949,777330,803 km²98/km²1.30%0.42%44
Angola32,994,04431,825,2951,246,700 km²26/km²3.27%0.42%45
Ghana31,152,71430,417,856238,533 km²130/km²2.15%0.40%46
Mozambique31,363,28630,366,036801,590 km²39/km²2.93%0.40%47
Yemen29,907,07529,161,922527,968 km²56/km²2.28%0.38%48
Nepal29,193,45228,608,710147,181 km²198/km²1.85%0.37%49
Venezuela28,441,55528,515,829916,445 km²31/km²-0.28%0.36%50
Madagascar27,778,94826,969,307587,041 km²47/km²2.68%0.36%51
Cameroon26,627,42025,876,380475,442 km²56/km²2.59%0.34%52
Ivory Coast26,458,71725,716,544322,463 km²82/km²2.57%0.34%53
North Korea25,792,36425,666,161120,538 km²214/km²0.44%0.33%54
Australia25,536,29525,203,1987,692,024 km²3/km²1.18%0.33%55
Taiwan23,822,03423,773,87636,193 km²658/km²0.18%0.31%56
Niger24,316,27823,310,7151,267,000 km²19/km²3.84%0.31%57
Sri Lanka21,424,25721,323,73365,610 km²326/km²0.42%0.27%58
Burkina Faso20,974,35720,321,378272,967 km²77/km²2.86%0.27%59
Mali20,322,89719,658,0311,240,192 km²16/km²3.02%0.26%60
Romania19,223,07319,364,557238,391 km²81/km²-0.66%0.25%61
Chile19,134,25018,952,038756,102 km²25/km²0.87%0.25%62
Malawi19,191,54318,628,747118,484 km²161/km²2.69%0.25%63
Kazakhstan18,804,20518,551,4272,724,900 km²7/km²1.21%0.24%64
Zambia18,448,08617,861,030752,612 km²24/km²2.93%0.24%65
Guatemala17,956,16817,581,472108,889 km²165/km²1.90%0.23%66
Ecuador17,674,69617,373,662276,841 km²64/km²1.55%0.23%67
Netherlands17,139,55117,097,13041,850 km²409/km²0.22%0.22%68
Syria17,547,72017,070,135185,180 km²95/km²2.52%0.22%69
Cambodia16,747,13116,486,542181,035 km²92/km²1.41%0.21%70
Senegal16,798,25416,296,364196,722 km²85/km²2.75%0.21%71
Chad16,484,51415,946,8761,284,000 km²13/km²3.00%0.21%72
Somalia15,948,17315,442,905637,657 km²25/km²2.92%0.20%73
Zimbabwe14,890,46614,645,468390,757 km²38/km²1.48%0.19%74
Guinea13,175,93512,771,246245,857 km²53/km²2.83%0.17%75
Rwanda12,991,25812,626,95026,338 km²492/km²2.58%0.17%76
Benin12,162,46311,801,151112,622 km²108/km²2.73%0.16%77
Tunisia11,833,10311,694,719163,610 km²72/km²1.06%0.15%78
Belgium11,595,68411,539,32830,528 km²380/km²0.44%0.15%79
Burundi11,934,37011,530,58027,834 km²427/km²3.12%0.15%80
Bolivia11,692,54111,513,1001,098,581 km²11/km²1.39%0.15%81
Cuba11,325,94811,333,483109,884 km²103/km²-0.06%0.15%82
Haiti11,419,55211,263,07727,750 km²411/km²1.24%0.15%83
South Sudan11,213,06711,062,113619,745 km²18/km²1.19%0.14%84
Dominican Republic10,861,05710,738,95848,671 km²223/km²1.01%0.14%85
Czech Republic10,710,98610,689,20978,865 km²136/km²0.18%0.14%86
Greece10,416,99310,473,455131,990 km²79/km²-0.48%0.13%87
Portugal10,192,83210,226,18792,090 km²111/km²-0.29%0.13%88
Jordan10,218,15310,101,69489,342 km²114/km²1.00%0.13%89
Azerbaijan10,150,23010,047,71886,600 km²117/km²0.91%0.13%90
Sweden10,106,97510,036,379450,295 km²22/km²0.63%0.13%91
United Arab Emirates9,903,8179,770,52983,600 km²118/km²1.23%0.13%92
Honduras9,923,9049,746,117112,492 km²88/km²1.63%0.13%93
Hungary9,657,1879,684,67993,028 km²104/km²-0.25%0.12%94
Belarus9,448,8779,452,411207,600 km²46/km²-0.03%0.12%95
Tajikistan9,563,4949,321,018143,100 km²67/km²2.32%0.12%96
Austria9,012,1928,955,10283,871 km²107/km²0.57%0.12%97
Papua New Guinea8,967,7928,776,109462,840 km²19/km²1.95%0.11%98
Serbia8,733,0938,772,23588,361 km²99/km²-0.40%0.11%99
Switzerland8,662,5998,591,36541,284 km²210/km²0.74%0.11%100
Israel8,671,9358,519,37720,770 km²417/km²1.60%0.11%101
Togo8,302,7908,082,36656,785 km²146/km²2.43%0.11%102
Sierra Leone7,996,8607,813,21571,740 km²111/km²2.10%0.10%103
Hong Kong7,504,0677,436,1541,104 km²6,791/km²0.82%0.10%104
Laos7,288,2617,169,455236,800 km²31/km²1.48%0.09%105
Paraguay7,143,1897,044,636406,752 km²18/km²1.25%0.09%106
Bulgaria6,942,2067,000,119110,879 km²63/km²-0.74%0.09%107
Lebanon6,825,5796,855,71310,452 km²653/km²-0.44%0.09%108
Libya6,881,8106,777,4521,759,540 km²4/km²1.38%0.09%109
Nicaragua6,634,1366,545,502130,373 km²51/km²1.21%0.08%110
El Salvador6,490,0826,453,55321,041 km²308/km²0.51%0.08%111
Kyrgyzstan6,537,2086,415,850199,951 km²33/km²1.69%0.08%112
Turkmenistan6,041,9415,942,089488,100 km²12/km²1.50%0.08%113
Singapore5,856,3585,804,337710 km²8,240/km²0.79%0.08%114
Denmark5,794,7875,771,87643,094 km²134/km²0.35%0.07%115
Finland5,541,8795,532,156338,424 km²16/km²0.15%0.07%116
Slovakia5,459,9095,457,01349,037 km²111/km²0.05%0.07%117
Republic Of The Congo5,534,7995,380,508342,000 km²16/km²2.56%0.07%118
Norway5,426,7235,378,857323,802 km²17/km²0.79%0.07%119
Costa Rica5,099,7785,047,56151,100 km²100/km²0.92%0.07%120
Palestine5,115,8094,981,4206,220 km²820/km²2.41%0.07%121
Oman5,123,4724,974,986309,500 km²16/km²2.65%0.07%122
Liberia5,072,4334,937,374111,369 km²45/km²2.44%0.06%123
Ireland4,943,6694,882,49570,273 km²70/km²1.13%0.06%124
New Zealand4,827,0914,783,063270,467 km²18/km²0.82%0.06%125
Central African Republic4,839,6614,745,185622,984 km²8/km²1.78%0.06%126
Mauritania4,664,7664,525,6961,030,700 km²5/km²2.74%0.06%127
Panama4,322,9674,246,43975,417 km²57/km²1.61%0.06%128
Kuwait4,279,3064,207,08317,818 km²240/km²1.51%0.05%129
Croatia4,102,3264,130,30456,594 km²73/km²-0.61%0.05%130
Moldova4,032,8494,043,26333,846 km²119/km²-0.23%0.05%131
Georgia3,988,0533,996,76569,700 km²57/km²-0.19%0.05%132
Eritrea3,552,5273,497,117117,600 km²30/km²1.41%0.05%133
Uruguay3,475,1563,461,734181,034 km²19/km²0.35%0.04%134
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,277,9673,301,00051,209 km²64/km²-0.61%0.04%135
Mongolia3,284,6633,225,1671,564,110 km²2/km²1.65%0.04%136
Armenia2,963,9562,957,73129,743 km²100/km²0.19%0.04%137
Jamaica2,962,6822,948,27910,991 km²269/km²0.44%0.04%138
Puerto Rico2,853,6782,933,4088,870 km²323/km²-2.47%0.04%139
Albania2,877,2622,880,91728,748 km²100/km²-0.11%0.04%140
Qatar2,888,0052,832,06711,586 km²249/km²1.73%0.04%141
Lithuania2,717,9662,759,62765,300 km²42/km²-1.35%0.03%142
Namibia2,546,5202,494,530825,615 km²3/km²1.86%0.03%143
Gambia2,425,0912,347,70610,689 km²226/km²2.94%0.03%144
Botswana2,357,1092,303,697582,000 km²4/km²2.08%0.03%145
Gabon2,232,3742,172,579267,668 km²8/km²2.45%0.03%146
Lesotho2,144,2992,125,26830,355 km²71/km²0.80%0.03%147
Macedonia2,083,3292,083,45925,713 km²81/km²-0.00%0.03%148
Slovenia2,078,9382,078,65420,273 km²103/km²0.01%0.03%149
Guinea Bissau1,973,7501,920,92236,125 km²54/km²2.45%0.03%150
Latvia1,883,7021,906,74364,559 km²29/km²-1.08%0.02%151
Bahrain1,707,9931,641,172765 km²2,224/km²3.68%0.02%152
Trinidad And Tobago1,400,0231,394,9735,130 km²273/km²0.32%0.02%153
Equatorial Guinea1,408,6901,355,98628,051 km²50/km²3.47%0.02%154
Estonia1,326,4901,325,64845,227 km²29/km²0.07%0.02%155
Timor Leste1,321,5201,293,11914,874 km²89/km²1.96%0.02%156
Mauritius1,271,9911,269,6682,040 km²623/km²0.17%0.02%157
Cyprus1,208,3841,198,5759,251 km²131/km²0.73%0.02%158
Swaziland1,161,5901,148,13017,364 km²67/km²1.05%0.01%159
Djibouti989,738973,56023,200 km²43/km²1.48%0.01%160
Fiji897,203889,95318,272 km²49/km²0.73%0.01%161
Reunion896,114888,9272,511 km²357/km²0.72%0.01%162
Comoros871,874850,8861,862 km²467/km²2.20%0.01%163
Guyana787,042782,766214,969 km²4/km²0.48%0.01%164
Bhutan772,633763,09238,394 km²20/km²1.12%0.01%165
Solomon Islands688,979669,82328,896 km²24/km²2.55%0.01%166
Macau650,494640,44530 km²21,645/km²1.39%0.01%167
Montenegro628,111627,98713,812 km²45/km²0.01%0.01%168
Luxembourg627,181615,7292,586 km²242/km²1.66%0.01%169
Western Sahara599,077582,463266,000 km²2/km²2.55%0.01%170
Suriname587,256581,372163,820 km²4/km²0.90%0.01%171
Cape Verde556,700549,9354,033 km²138/km²1.10%0.01%172
Maldives541,614530,953300 km²1,802/km²1.81%0.01%173
Malta441,721440,372316 km²1,397/km²0.27%0.01%174
Brunei437,969433,2855,765 km²76/km²0.97%0.01%175
Guadeloupe400,124400,0561,628 km²246/km²0.02%0.01%176
Belize398,519390,35322,966 km²17/km²1.86%0.01%177
Bahamas393,734389,48213,943 km²28/km²0.97%0.01%178
Martinique375,176375,5541,128 km²333/km²-0.08%0.00%179
Iceland341,510339,031103,000 km²3/km²0.65%0.00%180
Vanuatu308,036299,88212,189 km²25/km²2.42%0.00%181
French Guiana299,618290,83283,534 km²4/km²2.70%0.00%182
Barbados287,420287,025430 km²668/km²0.12%0.00%183
New Caledonia285,810282,75018,575 km²15/km²0.97%0.00%184
French Polynesia281,131279,2874,167 km²67/km²0.58%0.00%185
Mayotte273,617266,150374 km²729/km²2.50%0.00%186
Sao Tome And Principe219,694215,056964 km²227/km²1.91%0.00%187
Samoa198,592197,0972,842 km²70/km²0.67%0.00%188
Saint Lucia183,716182,790616 km²298/km²0.46%0.00%189
Guam168,998167,294549 km²307/km²0.89%0.00%190
Curacao164,182163,424444 km²370/km²0.41%0.00%191
Kiribati119,672117,606811 km²147/km²1.57%0.00%192
Micronesia115,157113,815702 km²164/km²1.06%0.00%193
Grenada112,568112,003344 km²327/km²0.46%0.00%194
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines110,940110,589389 km²285/km²0.32%0.00%195
Aruba106,811106,314180 km²593/km²0.43%0.00%196
United States Virgin Islands104,380104,578347 km²301/km²-0.15%0.00%197
Tonga105,829104,494747 km²141/km²1.15%0.00%198
Seychelles98,39297,739452 km²218/km²0.62%0.00%199
Antigua And Barbuda98,01897,118442 km²222/km²0.84%0.00%200
Isle Of Man85,03384,584572 km²149/km²0.53%0.00%201
Andorra77,26577,142468 km²165/km²0.16%0.00%202
Dominica71,98671,808751 km²96/km²0.25%0.00%203
Cayman Islands65,72264,948264 km²249/km²1.19%0.00%204
Bermuda62,27862,50654 km²1,153/km²-0.36%0.00%205
Marshall Islands59,19058,791181 km²327/km²0.68%0.00%206
Northern Mariana Islands57,55957,216464 km²124/km²0.60%0.00%207
Greenland56,77056,6722,166,086 km²0/km²0.17%0.00%208
American Samoa55,19155,312199 km²277/km²-0.22%0.00%209
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,19952,823261 km²204/km²0.71%0.00%210
Faroe Islands48,86348,6781,393 km²35/km²0.38%0.00%211
Sint Maarten42,87642,38834 km²1,261/km²1.15%0.00%212
Monaco39,24238,9642 km²19,621/km²0.71%0.00%213
Turks And Caicos Islands38,71738,191948 km²41/km²1.38%0.00%214
Liechtenstein38,12838,019160 km²238/km²0.29%0.00%215
Saint Martin38,66638,00253 km²730/km²1.75%0.00%216
San Marino33,93133,86061 km²556/km²0.21%0.00%217
Gibraltar33,69133,7016 km²5,615/km²-0.03%0.00%218
British Virgin Islands30,23130,030151 km²200/km²0.67%0.00%219
Palau18,09418,008459 km²39/km²0.48%0.00%220
Cook Islands17,56417,548236 km²74/km²0.09%0.00%221
Anguilla15,00314,86991 km²165/km²0.90%0.00%222
Tuvalu11,79211,64626 km²454/km²1.25%0.00%223
Wallis And Futuna11,23911,432142 km²79/km²-1.69%0.00%224
Nauru10,82410,75621 km²515/km²0.63%0.00%225
Saint Barthelemy9,8779,84721 km²470/km²0.30%0.00%226
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,7945,822242 km²24/km²-0.48%0.00%227
Montserrat4,9924,989102 km²49/km²0.06%0.00%228
Falkland Islands3,4803,37712,173 km²0/km²3.05%0.00%229
Niue1,6261,615260 km²6/km²0.68%0.00%230
Tokelau1,3571,34012 km²113/km²1.27%0.00%231
Vatican City8017991 km²801/km²0.25%0.00%232

World Population (1950 - 2100)

World Population in 2050

What will the world look like in 2050? The world’s population 30 years from now may look more different than we expect. According to World Population Prospects, the global population in 2050 will be around 9.77 billion people, which is 2 billion more than what the current population is today.

In terms of each country’s population growth, we can expect India to surpass China as the most populated country in the world by 2050. Today, India’s growth rate is 1.08% while China, the most populated country in the world at the moment, has a growth rate of only 0.35%. By 2050, India’s population will hit 1.66 billion people, and China will come in second place with a population of 1.36 billion.

The United States currently is the third most populated country in the world, but is expected to drop to fourth most populated by 2050. Instead, fast-growing Nigeria will become the third most populated country by 2050 with its current growth rate of 2.6%. Nigeria’s population will be around 410 million by 2050 while the US in 2050 will have about 390 million people.

Vatican City is predicted to continue being the least populated country in the world in 2050. It currently has a negative growth rate and is predicted to have 800 people by 2050.

Trends are pointing towards the most populated countries reaching their capacities and slowing down their population growths. Meanwhile, less populated countries with developing industries and technologies will see a boom in population growth, which are similar factors that allowed the recent growth of India and China in the last century.

The diffusion of health developments and technology will increase the global population overall. We predict the world to be around 30% more populated by 2050 because of better healthcare allowing longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality rates. The population will be aging because of a declining fertility rate as well, for individuals have more access to birth control and family planning.

Many predictions for the year 2050 are still unknown as we still wait to see the impact of computers, artificial intelligence, and environmental changes. If the global population is growing overall, we will face more constrained resources until technology can overcome any production shortages or environmental damage.

World Population by Race

As of the beginning of 2019, the world population is approximately 7.7 billion people. Many researchers have tried breaking this population down into different racial groups, but each nation measures different ethnic and racial components in different ways. Therefore, specific statistics and racial demographics of the world population as a whole are difficult to find as countries have not found a way to consolidate their findings or compromised in measuring the same single indicator of race.

Breaking down the global population by race is difficult primarily because of the meaning of the word “race.” Race is considered as a construct defined by society based on certain biological features that society has deemed to be significant. For example, some racial groupings are determined by physical differences like skin tone, hair color, and other facial features. However, there are so many different variations and exceptions to the evolving term “race” that many sociologists insist that no clear-cut races exist and that race is just genetic variations that shouldn’t carry weight on society.

Race is to not be confused with ethnicity, which is shared cultural heritage. The main difference between race and ethnicity is that race is inherited genetic traits while ethnicity is a set of customs, language, and practices that are learned and passed down from generation to generation.

Many countries measure their diversity through data on race, ethnicity, or a combination or variation of both. For instance, the United States includes race as self-identified data that reflects a social definition rather than a biological or anthropological one. Citizens report themselves as White, Black or African American, American Indian, Asian, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Meanwhile, other countries may use different measures of ethnic groups, such as English, German, East Indian, etc.

World Population History (5000 B.C. - 2020 A.D.)

Year Population Annual Growth Rate

World Population History (5000 B.C. - 2020 A.D.)

Throughout most of history, the world's population has been much smaller than it is now. Before the invention of agriculture, for example, the human population was estimated to be around 15 million people at most.

Here's an interesting perspective on today's world population in 2016: today's world population (~7 billion) is approximately 6% of the estimated 110 billion who have ever lived.

The introduction of agriculture and the gradual movement of humanity into settled communities saw the global population increase gradually to around 300 million by AD 0. To give you an idea of scale, the Roman Empire, which many regard as one of the strongest empires the world has ever seen, probably contained only around 50 million people at its height; that's less than the number of people in England today.

It wasn't until the early 19th century that the world population reached its first big milestone: 1 billion people. Then, as the industrial revolution took hold and living standards improved, the rate of population growth increased considerably. Over the next hundred years, the population of the world doubled, reaching 2 billion in the late 1920s.

The 20th century, however, is where population growth really took off, and over the past 100 years, the planet's population has more than tripled in size. This massive increase in human population is largely due to improvements in diet, sanitation and medicine, especially compulsory vaccination against many diseases.

Here's a timeline of the world population growth milestones:

  • Year 1: 200 million
  • Year 1000: 275 million
  • Year 1500: 450 million
  • Year 1650: 500 million
  • Year 1750: 700 million
  • Year 1804: 1 billion
  • Year 1850: 1.2 billion
  • Year 1900: 1.6 billion
  • Year 1927: 2 billion
  • Year 1950: 2.55 billion
  • Year 1955: 2.8 billion
  • Year 1960: 3 billion
  • Year 1970: 3.7 billion
  • Year 1985: 4.85 billion
  • Year 1999: 6 billion
  • Year 2011: 7 billion
  • Year 2025: 8 billion

What happens next isn't quite so clear.

Most people agree that population increases will continue, but there are arguments about the rate of increase, and even a few people who believe population decreases are likely. You can see some example trends in this graph.

The United Nations has gradually been revising its predictions downwards, and now believes that the world population in 2050 will be around 9 billion (illustrated by the yellow line on the chart). It believes that, as the world grows steadily richer and the average family size decreases, growth will steadily slow and eventually stop.

However, others believe that poverty, inequality and continued urbanization will encourage steadily increasing growth, particularly in countries in Africa and parts of Asia, where growth is already much higher than the global average.

A few scientists even believe that populations will decrease. Some believe that gradual increases in living standards will result in similar patterns to those in Western Europe, where birth rates are declining rapidly. Others believe that the current world population is unsustainable, and predict that humanity will simply not be able to produce enough food and oil to feed itself and sustain our industrial economy.

Although the population of the world increases daily, population growth rate has been declining over the last century. The rate of population growth was highest in 1970, around 2% growth per year, before declining in 1980. The 80’s brought a slight stagnant rise in the population growth rate, but in the 1990’s, the rate of population growth dropped down to less than 1.5% and has been declining throughout the 2000’s. The annual growth rate of the world population in 2019 is around 1.1% and is predicted to decrease even more in the next few decades, continuing the trend of slower population growth.

Year Population Annual Growth Rate
Year Population Annual Growth Rate

Additional Resources