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How Population Trends are Staying Consistent in Modern Society

Updated: Feb 1

Population Trends Indicate There is Still Plenty of Space to Go Around

urban population continues
Congestion of World's Coastal Legacy Urban Centers Remains an Issue

Interesting online article by Nick Routley of the Visual Capitalist expands upon global population has experienced a significant increase over the past 50 years, doubling in size. As of 2022, the Earth's population reached 8 billion, and by July 2023, it was estimated to be 8,045,311,447 according to UN figures. To visualize the world population, a map created by Nick Routley and Bruno Venditti of Visual Capitalist uses the concept of imagining only 1,000 people on Earth.

Notably, countries with populations below 7.6 million were not included in the visualization but were considered in overall calculations. Asia has over 4.7 billion people, making it the world's most populous region. It represents 59% of the total population, mainly led by India and China.

Africa holds the position of the second most populated continent, with 182 out of 1,000 people. Leading the continent's population are countries like Nigeria with 28 people, Ethiopia with 16, and Egypt with 14. As of July 2023, Africa's total population was estimated to be around 1.5 billion.

global population illustration
Illustration from Visual Capitalist

(Lets run a scenario) The world population of 8 billion people with an average single family comprising of 4, equates to 2 billion families.

Therefore, in area alone, these 2 billion families with 1 acre of land can all live in an area the entire size of the United States (2.4 billion acres) which only comprises of 6.6% of the total land area of the world.

This means that the concerns of overpopulation need to be further examined and defined.

Data shows that populations tend to live in coastal regions of the world:

  • The number of people living within 60 miles of coastlines will increase by about 35 percent compared to 1995.

  • Coastal Erosion in conjunction with hurricanes, population trends and natural disasters will continue to cause significant loss of life and property in the future.

world population table
Population Table from /

Despite seeing population decline in recent decades, Europe still stands as the third most populous continent, being 92 out of 1,000 people. Russia leads the population count in Europe with 18 people, followed by Turkey with 11 and Germany with 10.

In the hypothetical scenario of the world having only 1,000 people, North America would have a mere 75 inhabitants, with 42 residing in the United States. South America would account for 55 people, led by Brazil with 27, while Oceania would have only 5 individuals, including 3 in Australia.

Looking ahead, it is projected that Nigeria will surpass the United States and become the world's third-largest country in terms of population. While specific population projections differ, most agree that the global population will continue to rise but at a slower rate. Eventually, the population is expected to reach a peak between 2064-2086, after which it will begin to decline.

Graph of population trends
UN Data Portal Illustration

In the coming decades, the rankings of the most populous countries are likely to remain relatively stable, with India and China occupying the top positions. However, sources suggest that shortly after 2050, Nigeria's population may exceed that of the United States, solidifying its position as the third-largest country in the world.

Furthermore, there are several other countries are also expected to experience significant population growth, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, and Indonesia.

Trending graph
UN Data Portal Illustration


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