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Mankind By the Numbers

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From 1 million humans in 10,000 B.C., all the way to 7.02 billion. The journey of our kind on Earth, all in numbers!

The Road to 7 Billion

By 10,000 B.C., the world’s population was around 1 million. 2,000 years later there were about 5 million people on Earth—the same number that live in Finland today. 200 million people were scattered around the earth by 1 A.D. 1 in every 200 lived in Rome. Thanks in part to the first Industrial Revolution, there were 1 billion people by 1800. From 1900-2000 the population quadrupled.

There are currently 7.02 billion people on earth: 1 out of ever 12 people on Earth speaks Mandarin. 23 million people are likely descended from Genghis Khan. Australia’s aboriginal population has lived there for 2,000 generations. Niger is the fastest growing country. 1/4 of the world’s languages are spoken solely in Africa. Antarctica has no permanent residents—but it’s home to 20 million penguins. Muhammad is the most common first name in the world. 2.3 million Americans have the last name Smith. 30% of Mexicans can trace their lineage to the Aztecs.

Birth and Death

80 million people are born each year. That’s 200,000 a day or 140 a minute. More than 150,000 die every day—102 a minute. By 2050 there will be 9 billion of us, mostly because we’re living longer. Fewer than 50% of children born to prehistoric man made it to adulthood. Now 90% do. Their life expectancy was less than 30 years. Today we live to an average age of 67, or 84 if you’re born in Japan.

How we live

50.5% urban vs. 49.5% rural: Rome was the first city to have 1 million people. Today more than 300 do, including 33 cities in Africa alone. Metro Tokyo is home to 37 million people—it’s the largest urban center in the world. 88% of the world’s rural population lives in Asia or Africa. 1950: 56% adult literacy. 2012: 84%—including 98% of adults in Central Asia. 1,708: Number of cars Henry Ford sold in 1903. 8.1 million: Number sold in America in 2011. Peruvians spend the most time on the road, covering 23,955 miles a year per person. The first true computer was built in 1946. Today, 1/3 of the world has Internet access. Some of us are on the phone a lot. In the United Arab Emirates, there are 2.3 phones per person. Rice is the staple food for ½ the world—China produces 136 million tons of it annually. Venezuelans drink 146 pints of beer per person, while the Swiss swig 8.5 gallons of wine. Brazil grows 2.6 million tons of coffee each year—and the United States drinks more than half that amount.