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 Subject: More dead people or alive people? Category: Reference, Education and News Asked by: bolat1605-ga List Price: \$5.00 Posted: 04 Mar 2006 20:03 PST Expires: 03 Apr 2006 21:03 PDT Question ID: 703709
 ```Are there more dead people in the world or more alive people in the world? Please provide reasons and references.```
 Subject: Re: More dead people or alive people? Answered By: richard-ga on 04 Mar 2006 20:44 PST Rated:
 ```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: http://www.prb.org/Template.cfm?Section=PRB&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=7421 "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: http://members.bellatlantic.net/~bjmcg/story2_peple_lived.html and another, the same approach but a bit more technical: http://www.math.hawaii.edu/~ramsey/People.html Search term used: population "ever lived Thanks again for letting us help. Google Answers Researcher Richard-ga```
 bolat1605-ga rated this answer: `Excellent answer thanks. All the references make the diffreence. Very prompt.`

 ```Wow, Scary! I never realised that the population had exploded so fast. It proves Malthus wrong! Or does it?```
 ```actually the number is closer to 20 to 1 http://www.vendian.org/envelope/TemporaryURL/population_landmarks.html```
 ```Whether it is 10 or 20 to 1 is up for debate (as mentioned by the GR the first 96% of the estimates she used would be guess work)...well done answer I say.```
 ```In the foreword to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick wrote, "Behind every human being now living stand thirty ghosts." This number may seem high but I would expect Clarke to use a more inclusive definition of human being in his analysis, plus it was written ~1970. It is a beautiful way of expressing the information, innit?```