© 2013 Miro Roman

on population



World Population 7 billion (2011)

According to the United Nations, (“2010 Revision of the World Population Prospects”) world population has reached 7 Billion on October 31, 2011 (refer to the U.N. frequently asked questions for more information about this estimate)

The US Census Bureau made a lower estimate, for which the 7 billion mark was only reached on March 12, 2012

World Population 6 billion (1999)

World population had reached 6 billion in 1999.

According to the United Nations the 6 billions figure was reached on October 12, 1999 (celebrated as the Day of 6 Billion) . According to the U.S. Census Bureau instead, it was reached on July 22, 1999, at about 3:49 AM GMT. Yet, according to the U.S. Census web site, the date and time of when 6 billion was reached will probably change because the already uncertain estimates are constantly being updated.


What was the population of the world in the past and when will world population reach 8 billion?

At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was approximately 5 million. Over the 8,000-year period up to 1 A.D. it grew to 200 million (some estimate 300 million or even 600, suggesting how imprecise population estimates of early historical periods can be), with a growth rate of under 0.05% per year.

A tremendous change occurred with the industrial revolution: whereas it had taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in less than 30 years (1959), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987). During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.


How fast is the world population growing right now?

Population in the world is currently growing at a rate of around 1.10% per year. The average population change is currently estimated at around 75 million per year.

Annual growth rate reached its peak in the late 1960s, when it was at 2% and above. The rate of increase has therefore almost halved since its peak of 2.19 percent, which was reached in 1963, to the current 1.15%.

The annual growth rate is currently declining and is projected to continue to decline in the coming years, but the pace of the future change is uncertain. Currently, it is estimated that it will become less than 1% by 2020 and less than 0.5% by 2050.

This means that world population will continue to grow in the 21st century, but at a slower rate compared to the recent past. World population has doubled (100% increase) in 40 years from 1959 (3 billion) to 1999 (6 billion). It is now estimated that it will take a further 42 years to increase by another 50%, to become 9 billion by 2042.

The latest United Nations projections indicate that world population will nearly stabilize at just above 10 billion persons after 2100.


Why Worldometers clocks are the most accurate

The above world population clock is based on the estimates of the United Nations and will show the same number wherever you are in the world and whatever time you set on your PC.

Worldometers is the only website to present counters that are based on UN data and that do not follow the user’s PC clock.

Visitors around the world visiting a PC clock based counter, such as the the United Nations’ one on http://7billionactions.org and http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/7-billion see different numbers depending on where they are located, and therefore have seen the clock reaching 7 billion whenever their locally set PC clocks reached 4:21:10 AM on October 31, 2011.

As a test, try changing the date to yesterday on your computer clock, and watch what happens to http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/7-billion

With 39 time zones around the world, everyone is seeing a different number right now on the United Nations clocks. Look instead at Worldometers.

Obviously the UN data is based on estimates and can’t be 100% accurate, so in all honesty nobody can possibly say with any degree of certainty on which day world population reaches 7 billion, let alone at what time. But once an estimate is done (based on the best data and analysis available), the world population clock should be showing the same number at any given time anywhere around the world.


World Population clock: sources and methodology

The world population counter displayed on Worldometers takes into consideration data from two major sources: the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs every two years calculates, updates, and publishes estimates of total population in its World Population Prospects series. These population estimates and projections provide the standard and consistent set of population figures that are used throughout the United Nations system.

The World Population Prospect: the 2010 Revision provides the most recent data available (released on May 3, 2011). Estimates and projected world population and country specific populations are given from 1950 through 2050. According to the United Nations, world population has reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011.

Data underlying the population estimates are national and sub national census data and data on births, deaths, and migrants available from national sources and publications, as well as from questionnaires. For all countries, census and registration data are evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted for incompleteness by the Population Division as part of its preparations of the official United Nations population estimates and projections.

The International Programs Center at the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division also develops estimates and projections based on analysis of available data (based on census, survey, and administrative information) on population, fertility, mortality, and migration for each country or area of the world.

For most countries adjustment of the data is necessary to correct for errors, omissions, and inconsistencies in the data. Finally, since most recent data for a single country is often at least two years old, the current world population figure is necessarily a projection of past data based on assumed trends. As new data become available, assumptions and data are reevaluated and past conclusions and current figures may be modified.

For information about how these estimates and projections are made by the U.S. Census Bureau, see the Population Estimates and Projections Methodology.

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