Wanted: Dead or alive - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Posts: 36,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Wanted: Dead or alive

Fact or Fiction?: Living People Outnumber the Dead
By Ciara Curtin

Booming population growth among the living, according to one rumor, outpaces the dead but it would take 100 billion living to come close to outnumbering all who have ever lived.

The human population has swelled so much that people alive today outnumber all those who have ever lived, says a factoid whose roots stretch back to the 1970s. Some versions of this widely circulating rumor claim that 75 percent of all people ever born are currently alive. Yet, despite a quadrupling of the population in the past century, the number of people alive today is still dwarfed by the number of people who have ever lived.

In 2002 Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau, a nongovernmental organization in Washington, D.C., updated his earlier estimate of the number of people that have ever existed. To calculate this, he studied the available population data to determine the human population growth rates during different historical periods, and used them to determine the number of people who have ever been born.

For most of history, the population grew slowly, if at all. According to the United Nations' Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, the first Homo sapiens appeared around 50,000 years ago, though this figure is debatable. Little is known about this distant past and how many of us there might have been, but by the time of the agricultural revolution in the Middle East in 9000 B.C., Earth held an estimated five million people.

Between the rise of farming and the height of Roman rule,population growth was sluggish; at less than a tenth of a percent per year, it crawled to about 300 million by A.D. 1. Then the total fell as plagues wiped out large swathes of people. (The "black death" in the 14th century wiped out at least 75 million.) As a result, by 1650 the world population had only increased to about 500 million. By 1800, though, thanks to improved agriculture and sanitation, it doubled to more than one billion. And, in 2002 when Haub last made these calculations, the planet's population had exploded, reaching 6.2 billion.

To calculate how many people have ever lived, Haub followed a minimalist approach, beginning with two people in 50000 B.C.—his Adam and Eve. Then, using his historical growth rates and population benchmarks, he estimated that slightly over 106 billion people had ever been born. Of those, people alive today comprise only 6 percent, nowhere near 75 percent. "[It is] almost surely true people alive today are some small fraction of [all] people," says Joel Cohen, a professor of populations at the Rockefeller and Columbia Universities in New York City.

For this myth ever to be valid there would have to be more than 100 billion people living on Earth. "How cozy," Cohen says. "It just doesn't seem plausible," he adds.

Today there are more than 6.5 billion people walking on Earth, according to United Nations estimates. Recently, the population has been increasing by about 1.2 percent each year, down from the late 1960s peak of a 2.1 percent yearly growth rate. Some industrialized countries, especially France and Japan, have very low birth rates and their populations are actually dwindling, Haub notes. In developing nations populations continue to grow, but some countries, such as India, are experiencing a slowdown in their growth rate.

Cohen doubts that a doubling of today's population, to 13 billion, will occur, never mind approaching anywhere near 100 billion. Not even the U.N.'s highest projection predicts that much growth, he says. For 2050, the world body's estimates range from 7.3 billion to 10.7 billion people. The median, and most likely, projection of 8.9 billion relies on a gradual slowing of the growth rate. And the U.N. predicts the world population will stabilize at 10 billion inhabitants sometime after 2200. At this rate, the living will never outnumber the dead
Botnst is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-09-2007, 05:47 AM
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Solent Green will be the answer
Jakarta Expat is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
Your hero's or mentors dead or alive ? Von Vorschlag Off-Topic 29 12-19-2006 09:42 PM
Wanted: Dead W210 radio FireFox31 For Sale/Wanted/Trade/Giveaway 4 06-08-2006 08:42 PM
WANTED: Dead or Alive -- W126 Interior AB&C Pillars mcbear For Sale/Wanted/Trade/Giveaway 1 12-17-2005 12:55 PM
its alive! iNeon W123 E,CE,D,CD,TD,TE Class 2 01-24-2005 04:09 PM
White guages wanted.... Dead or Alive!! SheepAlert W126 S,SE,SEC,SEL,SD,SDL Class 5 07-01-2003 08:47 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome