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More People Are Alive Than Have Ever Died

By Shamini Bundell

Handy graph. For illustrative purposes only.
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Did you know that there are more people alive at this moment than the total of all the people who have ever lived and died?

Well, we all know that the population explosion in the past few hundred years has been enormous. The current world population of around 6 billion exceeds, by a factor of at least a dozen, anything before the last millennium. Basically there are now A LOT of people alive. Whereas before there were HARDLY ANY. That’s maths, that is.

There’s something attractive about the idea, but of course it isn’t actually true. The problem being that there was A LOT of time in which that small human population lived and reproduced and it all adds up (using more maths). The total number of humans who ever lived is of course ridiculously hard to guess but even the lowest estimates don’t seem to put the number at anywhere near as low as 6 billion. I think it’s pretty unlikely that the human population will ever be able to exceed the ever-increasing ‘number of people who have ever lived’ until we leave this restrictive little planet behind. I say we go forth into space and multiply!


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Hub image: Sanja Gjenero

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