Hello and thank you for your question.
Clearly the number of people alive today, around 6 or 7 billion, is
much smaller than the number of people who've gone before them.
The calculations shown below give the human race about 50,000 years of
existence, and a total count of about 100 billion. Certainly the
figures for the first 48,000 or so years are sketchy at best. But
even if you start the count at year 1 A.D., it's reasonable to
estimate that about 50 billion people have lived and died just since
then, nearly 10 times the number now alive.
Here's one source:
"Any estimate of the total number of people who have ever been born
will depend basically on two factors: (1) the length of time humans
are thought to have been on Earth and (2) the average size of the
human population at different periods.
"Fixing a time when the human race actually came into existence is not
a straightforward matter. Various ancestors of Homo sapiens seem to
have appeared at least as early as 700,000 B.C. Hominids walked the
Earth as early as several million years ago. According to the United
Nations' Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, modern
Homo sapiens may have appeared about 50,000 B.C. This long period of
50,000 years holds the key to the question of how many people have
ever been born.
Year Population Births per 1,000 Births Between Marks
50,000 B.C. 2 - -
8000 B.C. 5,000,000 80 1,137,789,769
1 A.D. 300,000,000 80 46,025,332,354
1200 450,000,000 60 26,591,343,000
1650 500,000,000 60 12,782,002,453
1750 795,000,000 50 3,171,931,513
1850 1,265,000,000 40 4,046,240,009
1900 1,656,000,000 40 2,900,237,856
1950 2,516,000,000 31-38 3,390,198,215
1995 5,760,000,000 31 5,427,305,000
2002 6,215,000,000 23 983,987,500
Number who have ever been born 106,456,367,669
World population in mid-2002 6,215,000,000
Percent of those ever born who are living in 2002 5
Here's another source that uses the same approach and reaches about
the same conclusion:
and another, the same approach but a bit more technical:
Search term used:
population "ever lived
Thanks again for letting us help.
Google Answers Researcher