Current World Population

World Population Growth Since the Year One

World Population
A woman talks on her cell phone as a passenger jet flies over the Jari Mari slum before landing at Mumbai Airport, on February 3, 2009 in Mumbai, India. Getty Images

The world population has grown tremendously over the past two thousand years. In 1999, the world population passed the six billion mark. The latest official current world population estimate, for mid-year 2013, is estimated at 7,095,217,980.

The chart below shows past world population data back to the year one and future world population projections through the year 2083.

World Population Growth

1200 million
1000275 million
1500450 million
1650500 million
1750700 million
18041 billion
18501.2 billion
19001.6 billion
19272 billion
19502.55 billion
19552.8 billion
19603 billion
19653.3 billion
19703.7 billion
19754 billion
19804.5 billion
19854.85 billion
19905.3 billion
19955.7 billion
19996 billion
20066.5 billion
20096.8 billion
20117 billion
20258 billion
20439 billion
208310 billion

Concerns for an Increase of People

While the Earth can only support a certain amount of people, the issue is not so much about space as it is a matter of resources like food and water.  According to David Satterthwaite, the concern is about the "number of consumers and the scale and nature of their consumption."  Thus, the human population can generally meet its basic needs as it grows in regards to environmental space, however not at the scale of consumption that some lifestyles and cultures currently support.

It is important to realize that while data is collected on population growth, it is difficult for even sustainability professionals to understand what will happen when our population reaches, ten or fifteen billion people on a global scale. While we can conclude that, currently, overpopulation is a myth, the focus would be primarily on distribution of people to various spaces on Earth.

Regardless, birth rates have been falling around the world which may slow down population growth in the future.