Global Population, slow and steady

Population growth is not sudden or explosive. It can seem that way, when we compare two distant years—for example, 1900 and 2000. But as this graph of world population shows (past and projected future), it is a slow and steady drip-drip-drip. Basic processes (birth, death) repeated over and over can bring you a long way in a couple of generations.

These processes, though slow, are not inevitable. This graph also shows, starkly, the slowing of population growth. You can see it in the overarching curve, but also in the time frames involved to get to each population stage. Starting with 2.5 billion in 1950, it took 38 years to get to 5 billion (a doubling). But we haven’t reached 10 billion yet—and aren’t estimated to do so until 2058, or 70 years. And as this graph demonstrates, we likely will never get much beyond 10 billion (without a significant change).

For your own consideration, and possibly future observations: there are many implications for the global economy, for geopolitical strategy, and for mission efforts, buried in this chart.

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