15 November 2022
Today the global human population has reached 8 billion. Lest we think our current growth rate is normal, this graph shows that human population since 10,000 BCE (the start of agriculture) has had a rapid and unnatural growth spurt in the last 70 years.
There are so many humans now that we have changed the surface of the Earth, its atmosphere, and its climate just to supply our own needs.
This rate of growth is unsustainable and somehow our species naturally knows it. Population growth will continue but is slowing to a rate of only 1% by the end of this century. Unfortunately there will be 10.9 billion of us by then!
Asia will lead the world in slowing the rate while North America remains relatively stable. (Note: The dip in 2020 is COVID deaths outperforming births.)
How will we feed 8 to 10.9 billion people? Where will we live when the sea rises and the deserts expand?
It’s a good thing for humans and the planet that our species will stop reproducing quite so fast.
Read more about the slowing growth rate here at Our World in Data.
(photo/ graph links are in the captions. Slideshow photos from Wikimedia Commons in order: Rush hour in Russia, Beach in the Netherlands, Inauguration Day 2009, Crowded exhibit in India, Crowded street, Sao Paulo station, train surfing in Indonesia, crowded Faire in UK, train in Ecuador)