View Question
Q: Population Growth and Death Rates ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
 Question
 Subject: Population Growth and Death Rates Category: Science > Social Sciences Asked by: stm18-ga List Price: \$7.50 Posted: 26 Dec 2005 16:02 PST Expires: 25 Jan 2006 16:02 PST Question ID: 609946
 `Are there more people living today than have ever died?` Clarification of Question by stm18-ga on 26 Dec 2005 20:44 PST ```Thanks. What I'm looking for is a projection of whether or not they will ever be equivalent, which would require an estimate for the total number of deaths. Any ideas?```
 There is no answer at this time.

 ```No, it appears that more people have died than are currently living. Current world population: 6,487,587,892 from: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/world.html Another US census site is titled "Historical Estimates of World Population" http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/worldhis.html The first column on this page is a summary of the estimates given in columns to the right; this first column lists the lowest estimate for each year listed. If I sum all the values from -10,000 to 1900 (excluding all years ending in ..40 and ..50 - so that there are at least 100 years between estimates), I get 7,677,000,000. Search strategy: "world population" Methodology re adding: The table of historical estimates copies nicely into Excel. I then deleted the rows for 1250 and similar and used the sum function for lowest estimates from -10000 to 1900.```
 ```Just one clarification: The total number of people who have died is not 7,677,000,000; the actual number is greater than that. Once we know the number of people who have died is greater than the number of people who are currently living, we don't have to go further and get the final number of all people who have died to answer the question as "yes" or "no" - which I presume is what you wanted to know.```
 ```Whether (and when) the population of the earth will exceed the total number of people that have died depends on some uncertainties. That said, it appears that this will not occur in the next 50 years, and will most likely never occur. There is a better estimate of the total number of people who have died: The US Census Bureau lists a 1995 article by Carl Haub. If I search Google for "How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth?" (the title of that article) I get this site: http://www.prb.org/Template.cfm?Section=PRB&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=7421 as one of the hits. This site list uncertainties and uses the word, "guesstimates." Their discussion is informative, though. They include not only people alive at various time benchmarks (as I did) but also "births between benchmarks." This gives a better estimate of the total number of people who have ever lived. Their value for the number of people who have ever lived up to 2002 is 106,456,367,669 (14 times my simple underestimate). The US Census has a site titled "Total Midyear Population for the World: 1950-2050" http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/worldpop.html The expected world population in 2050 is 9,224,375,956 , obviously far short of the number of people who have ever been born - and in the meantime, the total number of people who have died keeps climbing after 2002. Here are some additional confirming calculations regarding the number of people who have died in the 20th century: Going back to the article on "How many people have ever lived on earth," I can take the population in 1900, add in the "births between benchmarks" for 1900 - 1950, 1950 - 1995, and 1995 - 2002, and subtract the world's population in 2002 to find that 5,242,490,715 people died between 1900 and 2002. In my previous simple underestimate, I just used that fact that essentially all the people alive in 1900 had died by today. Another site's numbers for total deaths in the 20th century roughly agrees with the above site's numbers: "Total Deaths During the 20th Century Approximately 4,126,000,000 people have died during this century from all causes. If man-made megadeaths account for 185 million of them, then one out of every 22 (or 4.5%) human deaths during the 20th Century have been caused by fellow humans." http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm```
 `That's what I was looking for - thank you!`