Is the world population growing and are we doomed?

Here’s the graph we’re used to seeing:


This one shows our historical population since 1750 and future projected population


Wait a minute. 

This graph shows a DECLINE in population growth AND a decreased projection of population growth.

What even is this.

And here’s another one:


Again with the population decline data and projected population decline.


Well, here comes the problem with data.

You might remember a post I made a while back, extolling the virtues of graphs zoomed way out to show as much historical data as possible, to get the big picture.

Well, in this instance, we seem to have zoomed out a little too far and missed the trees from the forest!

Here’s the first graph again:


It’s zoomed so far out, we can’t tell if the population is declining even a small amount after a while.

Notice the second and third graphs though, and they’re zoomed quite a bit in, and we can see that in fact, global populations are declining, and are even predicted by our very own UN to keep declining. It seems we reached peak population growth around 1963.



UN world population 1950


UN world population present


UN world population projection 2100


Now, let’s not say there are enough resources to go around even with the population decline. I’ll look that up in another post. But we can breathe a small sigh of relief that overpopulation doesn’t seem to be the doom and gloom catastrophe we’ve been brainwashed into believing.

Lastly, I want to leave you with cool facts I found:

  1. There are an estimate 100 billion humans who have ever lived. Right now we have 7 billion. Right now we are experiencing 7% of the world’s population that has ever lived.
  2. Asia accounts for 60% of the world population. Oceania is the smallest with 0.5%. (Source)
  3. There was once a bottleneck of human populations possibly down to 1,000-10,000 people, at around 70,000 BC, due to a volcanic winter that killed off massive amounts of plants. We could have gone extinct! Also, what that means is human genetic differences are not millions of years old, but only 70,000 years old. Crazy!
  4. Genetic analysis has lead to evidence than there was another population bottleneck 1.2 million years ago when the population dwindled down to 26,000. This has lead some researchers to believe humans have experienced several population bottlenecks over human history.
  5. When Europeans made contact with indigenous people in the Americas, 90% of their populations were killed by European endemics such as influenza, smallpox, and measles. This is because Europeans developed an immunity to these diseases that the first nations did not have.
  6. 75% of children didn’t make it to 5 years old who were born in London, in 1730. In 1810, it dropped to 33%.
  7. 40% of those who have ever lived did not survive beyond their first birthday.
  8. “life expectancy at birth probably averaged only about ten years for most of human history” (Source)

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