This remarkable video shows how humans spread across the Earth over 200,000 years– from 1m to 7bln

BE2C2 Report — This fascinating map, created by the American Museum of Natural History, shows how the world’s human population grew from 1 million in AD 1 and migrated across the globe to reach 7 billion by 2015.

Each yellow dot represents 1 million people.



Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years. Around 100,000 years ago, we began migrating across the globe. Once we started to farm and settle down, the human population began to spike. By the year AD 1, it had reached 170 million. In the second half of the 18th century, the population doubled from 597 million to 1 billion — thanks to the Industrial Revolution which made a leap forward in medicine and technology. There was more food too, making it cheaper and more available.

In only 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, the global population rocketed to 7 billion. If the growth rate continues at the same pace, 11 billion people will be living on the planet by the turn of the next century.

Land use also kept pace with population growth. The two maps below show land use in the 1700s versus in 2050.

Land use in 1700

It shows that across many parts of the globe, but particularly in North and South America, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia populations have exploded.

Land use in 2050

According to their prediction, by 2050 we will reach our peak, as women have fewer children. Population growth will begin to slow.

According to UN DESA report titled, “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision”, the current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100).

(The original article appeared in the World Economic Forum website)

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