Infographic Video: How Did The Population Reach 7 Billion So Fast?!

And does that mean we'll have something like 60 billion people by 2300?!

In 1804, the world population stood at 1 billion. Today, it’s more or less 7 billion. How did the population grow so big in 200 years? Just as you’d guess: As medicine and agriculture practices improved, more people began living long enough to have families of their own. But this infographic video from NPR does a superb job of telling the story, using glasses of colored liquid to visualize births (water drips into the glass) and deaths (it escapes through the bottom).

So is the population going to keep ballooning at this rate? Are we looking at 49 billion people by 2212? Don’t sound the alarm bells just yet. Depending on how you look at it, the glass is half full—the UN predicts that the world population will top out at 10 billion—or half empty: It’s unclear whether we’ll have enough food and energy to support everyone.

To see what it would look like if all 7 billion of us were dropped into one city, go here.

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4 Comments

  • Jason Matthews

    Since North America has so much land and less people than the other regions of the world, it makes me think this will be one of our greatest assets over time if the economy continues to deteriorate.

  • Julie

    Very little in this infographic video is said about the demographic transition, that is to say, how the rate of births adapt to the rate of deaths after awhile (the biggest population growth happening during that time). For instance, the fertility rate in Europe is under 2 child per woman, something that is barely enough to replace the current population : that's because we're in the end of our demographic transition, which started in the 18th century. The same way, we can see that in continents that are still full on in the demographic transition, such as Africa, fertility rates are different following different criterias, two of which are the death rate and the education of women.
    This explains why the UN think we won't go further than 10 billions.

  • Ralph A. Gilmore

    Definitely something to be concerned about. People are living healthier and becoming more aware of science, technology, and medical advances. Not saying this is a bad thing, but there's a cause and effect of every life-altering decision.