Future of the Environment

These 12 charts show how the world’s population has exploded in the last 200 years

People on inflatable boats enjoy the weather on the Lake Lucerne in Sisikon, Switzerland, August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1CEF5FB7A0

At the end of the year the United States is estimated to have a population of over 329 million. Image: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Bill Bostock
News reporter, Business Insider
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Future of the Environment?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of the Environment is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of the Environment

There are currently more than seven and a half billion people on earth, with the UN projecting that number will hit 10 billion by 2056.

It took 200,000 years for humanity to reach the first billion people, but after that it only took 200 more years to hit seven billion.

In honor of the United Nation's World Population Day, here are five graphics to help you understand how the number of people in the world has grown.

1. This interactive graph shows just how much the world's population accelerated after 1900.

In 2019, the population of the world is 1,860 times the size of what it was 12,000 years ago — 4 million.

2. This chart shows how different world regions have grown since 1820.
3. This interactive map shows how each country has grown since 1800. Click on a country to see.
4. Despite the boom, the world's growth rate has slowed since its 1962 peak, and looks set to slow even more.
Image: Our World In Data
5. This video shows which areas the world's population grew in at which times.
Have you read?
6. This ticker from the US Census Bureau shows how the US and global population is growing in real time.
7. This animation from the American Museum of Natural History shows how populations grew in relation to major world events.
8. This map shows the difference in population density in different countries.

In the least-densely populated country, Mongolia, there are two people for every kilometer squared, while in Holland, the most-densely populated, there are 505.54 people for each kilometer squared.

9. This image shows the population densities of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. The higher the spike, the more people live at its base.
The spikes on this map show the population densities for New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.
The spikes on this map show the population densities for New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. Image: Matthew Daniels/ThePudding
10. This graph shows how the world's population is estimated to hit 10 billion in 2056, according to the UN Population Division.
11. This animation shows how the US' population expanded as it grew westward from 1790.

See the full graphic and more at Vivid Maps.

12. This final map shows the estimated 2019 population of every country on the planet.

Read the original article on INSIDER.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Future of the EnvironmentInequalitySustainable Development
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Earth Day: What is it, when is it and why is it important?

Lindsey Ricker and Hanh Nguyen

April 11, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum