How many people are in the world?
There are approximately 7.8 billion people in the world as of July 2020, according to a 2020 report published in the journal The Lancet.
The global population is an estimate of the total number of people living on the planet, rather than a true running total of every baby born minus every person who has died at a given moment in time.
Because it’s impossible to keep track of the real-time numbers of births and deaths worldwide, demographers, or statisticians that study human populations, calculate the world’s population by adding up estimates of regional populations, according to the United Nations. They arrive at these regional estimates by taking into account a variety of factors, including fertility rate, or the average number of children that a woman has in her lifetime, and mortality rate, or a person’s life expectancy, given the social and economic conditions of the region.
The world’s population has grown rapidly in the last two centuries, driven largely by an increase in the number of people surviving to reproductive age as quality of life and healthcare have improved in almost every country around the world over this time. However, ever since peaking in the 1970’s, the global population growth rate has slowed, according to a 1993 report published in the journal Population Today.
The world’s population reached 1 billion a little more than 200 years ago, in 1800, according to Our World in Data, an open-source database and charity based in England and Wales. The rate of growth quickly accelerated in the years that followed.
The next billion came a little over one century later, in 1927. The global population hit 3 billion in 1959, 4 billion in 1975, 5 billion in 1987 and 6 billion in 1999, according to the United Nations. There were an estimated 7 billion people in the world as of Oct. 31, 2011 and that number is projected to reach 8 billion in 2023, 9 billion in 2037 and 10 billion by 2057, according to the same United Nations data.
The U.N. projects that the world’s population will reach about 11 billion by 2100, though long-term future projections are subject to change. In 2019, a report published by the United Nations predicted that the global population annual growth rate would fall to less than 0.1% by 2100, due to a decreasing number of children born worldwide.