On July 11, 1987 the world population reached an unprecedented 5 billion, which was acknowledged with the establishment of World Population Day on that day ever since then. With the world’s population believed to reach 7 billion some time this year, this will obviously be a symbolic day (like it was back in 1987). But nobody knows how many of us are there exactly on this planet, and the number is constantly changing anyway. A nice animation of global statistics is shown in Worldometers, a website which turns all kinds of global statistics into live counts based on the estimated changes; at the time of writing this, the world population according to that website was at exactly 6,976,723,
755… 785… 843…and counting; we also welcomed more than 208,000 new citizen to this planet while we also had to say goodbye to more than 95,700. Well, this is what World Population Day apparently is about: Making us think about the significance of population trends and related issues.
The worldmapper contribution to this year’s world population day is an updated version of the world population cartogram. The new map shows the countries of the world resized according to the total number of people living in each country in 2011 (using UNPD estimates). In a quick update, the world’s newest country South Sudan is also integrated in this map, so that this is the most recent population view that one can get of today’s countries:
National Geographic crunched some of the key statistics to explain what it means to be living in a world of 7 billion and reminds us of the fact that a growing population is not a threat at all. It just depends on what we make of it…there can’t be too many of us! Only the few living over their limit are the real problem, not the many living from so little. Think about it!
The map on this page has been created by Benjamin D. Hennig and is property of the Sasi Research Group (University of Sheffield). We welcome the use of our maps under the Creative Commons conditions; please contact us for further details – we also appreciate a notification if you used our maps somewhere else. High resolution and customized maps are available on request.