What Was the Population of the World in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, the world was a vastly different place. The population of the world was much smaller compared to what we have today.

It is estimated that the world population in ancient times was around 200 million people. This number may seem relatively small when compared to the current world population of over 7 billion people.

Ancient Civilization Populations

The population of ancient civilizations varied greatly. For example, in ancient Egypt, it is believed that the population was around 3 million people during its peak in 1300 BCE. In comparison, ancient Greece had a population of around 1 million people during the same time period.

The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful empires in ancient times, and it had a massive population as well. At its height, it is estimated that the population of the Roman Empire was around 60 million people. The Romans were able to achieve this high number due to their advanced infrastructure and technology.

Ancient China

Ancient China was another civilization with a large population. The Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BCE to 220 CE, had a population of around 50 million people. This made up approximately one-third of the world’s total population at that time.

Reasons for Low Population

There were several reasons why the world’s population was much lower in ancient times compared to today. Firstly, there were no modern medical advancements like we have today which meant higher mortality rates due to diseases and childbirth complications.

Secondly, transportation was limited which meant that migration and trade between different regions were difficult. This resulted in isolated populations with less genetic diversity leading to higher rates of hereditary diseases.

Lastly, there were limited resources available for sustenance which restricted food supply and access to clean water leading to malnutrition and poor health conditions.


In conclusion, the world’s population in ancient times was much lower than what we have today. The population of ancient civilizations varied greatly depending on factors such as location, infrastructure, and technology. While there were many limitations that prevented the growth of the population in ancient times, it is fascinating to see how far humanity has come in terms of medical advancements, transportation, and access to resources.