Humanities › Geography Current World Population and Future Projections Share Flipboard Email Print Bee-Teerapol / Getty Images Geography Population Basics Physical Geography Political Geography Country Information Key Figures & Milestones Maps Urban Geography by Matt Rosenberg Matt Rosenberg is a professional geographer and writer with over 20 years of experience. He is the author of both a geography reference book and a guide to winning National Geography Bee contests. Updated July 19, 2019 The world population has grown tremendously over the past 2,000 years. In 1999, the world population passed the six-billion mark. By March of 2018, the official world population had jumped over the seven-billion mark to an estimated 7.46 billion. World Population Growth Humans had been around for tens of thousands of years by the year 1 A.D. when the Earth's population was an estimated 200 million. It hit the billion mark in 1804 and doubled by 1927. It doubled again in less than 50 years to four billion in 1975. Year Population 1 200 million 1000 275 million 1500 450 million 1650 500 million 1750 700 million 1804 1 billion 1850 1.2 billion 1900 1.6 billion 1927 2 billion 1950 2.55 billion 1955 2.8 billion 1960 3 billion 1965 3.3 billion 1970 3.7 billion 1975 4 billion 1980 4.5 billion 1985 4.85 billion 1990 5.3 billion 1995 5.7 billion 1999 6 billion 2006 6.5 billion 2009 6.8 billion 2011 7 billion 2025 8 billion 2043 9 billion 2083 10 billion Concerns for an Increasing Number of People While the Earth can only support a limited number of people, the issue is not so much about space as it is a matter of resources like food and water. According to author and population expert 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, but not at the scale of consumption that some lifestyles and cultures currently support. While data is collected on population growth, it is difficult for even sustainability professionals to understand what will happen on a global scale when the world's population reaches 10 or 15 billion people. Overpopulation is not the biggest concern, as enough land exists. The focus would primarily be on making use of uninhabited or underpopulated land. Regardless, birth rates have been falling around the world, which may slow down population growth in the future. As of 2017, the total fertility rate for the world was 2.5, down from 2.8 in 2002 and 5.0 in 1965, but still at a rate that allows population growth. Growth Rates Highest in Poorest Countries According to World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, most of the world's population growth is in poor countries. The 47 least developed countries are expected to see their collective population nearly double from 2017's one billion to 1.9 billion by 2050. That's thanks to a fertility rate of 4.3 per woman. Some countries continue to see their populations explode, such as Niger with a 2017 fertility rate of 6.49, Angola at 6.16, and Mali at 6.01. In contrast, the fertility rate in many developed countries was below replacement value (more loss of people than those born to replace them). As of 2017, the fertility rate in the United States was 1.87. Others include Singapore at 0.83, Macau at 0.95, Lithuania at 1.59, the Czech Republic at 1.45, Japan at 1.41, and Canada at 1.6. According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the world's population has been rising at a rate of roughly 83 million people every year, and the trend is expected to continue, even though fertility rates have been dropping in almost all regions of the world. That's because the world's overall fertility rate still exceeds the rate of zero population growth. The population-neutral fertility rate is estimated at 2.1 births per woman. Continue Reading Top 25 Most Populous Countries in the World In the Year 2050, Which Countries Will Have the Most People? China's One-Child Policy Had a Huge Impact on Population Growth Which State Has the Biggest Population? Russia Expected to Lose 32 Million People by 2050 The Effects of Human Overpopulation Can You Name the 30 Largest Cities in the World? What Is India's Population? The Topics Studied in Population Geography What Will Be the Largest Countries in 2100? US Birth Rate Hit Its All-Time Low in 2016 Is Population Growth Creating Serious Environmental Issues? What Is the Population of the United States? Natural Increase Refers to Net Population Growth Rates How Can We Predict When a Population Will Double in Size? Why Is Negative Population Growth Important?