World population

UN historical estimates for pre-1950 data
generated with data supplied by World Bank, via Google
World population percentage by country

In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people as of April 2019.[1] It took over 200,000 years of human history for the world's human population to reach 1 billion;[2] and only 100 years more to reach 7 billion.[3]

The world population has experienced continuous growth following the Great Famine of 1315–1317 and the end of the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million.[4] The highest global population growth rates, with increases of over 1.8% per year, occurred between 1955 and 1975—peaking to 2.1% between 1965 and 1970.[5] The growth rate declined to 1.2% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to decline further in the course of the 21st century.[5] However, the global population is still increasing[6] and is projected to reach about 10 billion in 2050 and more than 11 billion in 2100.[7]

Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 139 million,[8] and as of 2011 were expected to remain essentially constant at a level of 135 million,[9] while deaths numbered 56 million per year and were expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040.[10] The median age of the world's population was estimated to be 30.4 years in 2018.[11]

World population (millions, UN estimates)[12]
#Top ten most populous countries200020152030[A]
1China China[B]1,2701,3761,416
2India India1,0531,3111,528
3United States United States283322356
4Indonesia Indonesia212258295
5Pakistan Pakistan136208245
6Brazil Brazil176206228
7Nigeria Nigeria123182263
8Bangladesh Bangladesh131161186
9Russia Russia146146149
10Mexico Mexico103127148
World total6,1277,3498,501
  1. ^ China excludes Hong Kong and Macau.
  2. ^ 2030 = Medium variant.

Population by region

Six of the Earth's seven continents are permanently inhabited on a large scale. Asia is the most populous continent, with its 4.54 billion inhabitants accounting for 60% of the world population. The world's two most populated countries, China and India, together constitute about 36% of the world's population. Africa is the second most populated continent, with around 1.28 billion people, or 16% of the world's population. Europe's 742 million people make up 10% of the world's population as of 2018, while the Latin American and Caribbean regions are home to around 651 million (9%). Northern America, primarily consisting of the United States and Canada, has a population of around 363 million (5%), and Oceania, the least populated region, has about 41 million inhabitants (0.5%).[13] Though it is not permanently inhabited by any fixed population, Antarctica has a small, fluctuating international population based mainly in polar science stations. This population tends to rise in the summer months and decrease significantly in winter, as visiting researchers return to their home countries.[14]

Population by continent

Population by continent (2016 estimates)
Continent Density
Most populous country Most populous city (metropolitan area)
Asia 96.4 4,436 1,382,300,000[note 1] -  China 35,676,000/13,634,685 - Japan Greater Tokyo Area/Tokyo Metropolis
Africa 36.7 1,216 0186,987,000 -  Nigeria 21,000,000 - Nigeria Lagos
Europe 72.9 738 0145,939,000 -  Russia;
approx. 112 million in Europe)
16,855,000/12,506,468 - Russia Moscow metropolitan area/Moscow[15]
North America[note 2] 22.9 579 0324,991,600 -  United States 23,723,696/8,537,673 - United States New York Metropolitan Area/New York City
South America 22.8 422 0209,567,000 -  Brazil 27,640,577/11,316,149 - Brazil Metro Area/São Paulo City
Oceania 4.5 39.9 0024,458,800 -  Australia 5,005,400 - Australia Sydney
Antarctica 0.0003
0.004 in summer
(non-permanent, varies)[14]
N/A[note 3] 1,200 (non-permanent, varies) - McMurdo Station