1 in 8 People Who Have Ever Lived Are Alive Today

How many people have ever lived on our planet? It’s probably not as many as you’d think.

One in eight people who have ever lived are alive today. That sounds crazy, right?

Credit: 1000Memories

Think about it this way:

  • In 1804, 1 billion people lived on our planet. There are more people alive in India today.
  • In 1927, the year my grandfather was born, our planet hit the 2 billion population mark. That’s less than the combined population of modern China and India.
  • In 1959, the year after my dad was born, our planet hit the 3 billion mark.
  • In 1974, when my dad was in high school, we hit the 4 billion mark.
  • In 1987, the year before I was born, we hit the 5 billion mark.
  • In 1998, when I was 10, we hit the 6 billion mark.
  • We are expected to hit the 7 billion mark in October 2011.

What does this mean?

Assuming that my grandfather, father, and I all live to be 100:

  • My grandfather will have seen the population quadruple.
  • My father will have seen the population triple.
  • I will have seen the population double and reach the theoretical leveling-off point.

As we reach the population leveling-off point, what problems do you think will arise?

You can read more here and here.

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2 Responses to 1 in 8 People Who Have Ever Lived Are Alive Today

  1. Mary Johnson says:

    You were right in that I overestimated! Thank you for providing the sources. I’m always on the lookout for interesting topics at the dinner table, and this is on that I am bringing up. I hope that all of those people are recycling though!

    • Amy Erickson says:

      Hi Mary,

      I know I overestimated the population when I first read this, so you aren’t alone 🙂

      Let’s hope that everyone recycles, because if they don’t, the problem will only be worse!

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