What Is the World Population in History?

The world population has been a topic of interest for many researchers, scientists, and policymakers for centuries. It is a constantly changing number affected by various factors such as fertility rates, mortality rates, migration patterns, and even war. In this article, we will explore the history of world population growth and how it has shaped the world we live in today.

Early History

The estimated world population during the early days of human civilization was around 5 million people. This was during the Paleolithic era, approximately 10,000 BC.

The population continued to grow slowly over the years until the Agricultural Revolution around 10,000 years ago when humans discovered how to cultivate crops and domesticate animals. This led to a significant increase in food production and allowed for larger settlements to form. By 1 AD, the world population had reached an estimated 200 million people.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, from 500 AD to 1500 AD, there were several significant events that affected world population growth. The first was the decline of the Roman Empire in Europe which led to widespread famine and disease resulting in a decrease in population. However, during this time period, there was also an increase in trade between Europe and Asia which led to cultural exchange and growth in urban centers.

The Black Death

One event that had a profound impact on world population was The Black Death which occurred from 1347-1351. This pandemic wiped out up to one-third of Europe’s population and had lasting effects on society.

Modern Era

The modern era saw significant changes in world population growth due to advancements in medicine, technology, and industrialization. During this time period, there was a rapid increase in global population from around one billion people in 1800 to over seven billion people today.

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution, which began in the late 18th century, had a significant impact on world population growth. The invention of machines and advancements in agriculture led to increased food production and improved living conditions. This allowed for a decrease in mortality rates and an increase in life expectancy.

World War I and II

World War I and II had a significant impact on world population growth. The two wars resulted in the loss of millions of lives, particularly in Europe where both wars were fought. However, after the wars ended, there was a baby boom which led to an increase in population growth.

Current Population

The current world population stands at over seven billion people and is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This rapid increase is due to several factors such as advancements in medicine, improvements in living conditions, and access to education for women.


The rapid increase in world population has several implications for society such as increased demand for resources, environmental degradation, and pressure on social services. It is important that policymakers address these issues through sustainable development policies that promote responsible use of resources and support for social services.


In conclusion, world population growth has been affected by various factors throughout history such as disease pandemics, technological advancements, war, and social changes. While the current rapid increase poses challenges for society today, it is important that we address these issues through responsible policies that promote sustainable development. By doing so, we can ensure a better future for generations to come.