This is both disturbing and mesmerising. Watching in ‘real-time’ the global population grow.
Granted, the annual global rate of population growth has slowed down since the end of the 1960’s (was 2%) but we are still growing. As of 2020, we’re growing at a rate of around 1.05% per year — which (at the current rate) roughly means an increase of 81 million people per year.
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 30 years (1960), 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.
- In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.
There’s more I intend to explore on this and related topics in the future. It’s quickly becoming something I’m captivated… and concerned by.
I’m leaving these here for now as no doubt I will revisit them at some stage. Incredibly compelling stuff:
- Arithmetic, Population and Energy - A talk by Al Bartlett
- Overshoot - Interview with William R. Catton, Jr.
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