BBC on “The World at seven billion”

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The world at seven billion

The world’s population is expected to hit seven billion in the next few weeks. After growing very slowly for most of human history, the number of people on Earth has more than doubled in the last 50 years. Where do you fit into this story of human life? Fill in your date of birth below to find out.


Every hour, there are:

15,347 Births 6,418 Deaths

Average yearly growth


In developing nations, where improvements in health care and sanitation are seeing death rates fall, birth rates still remain relatively high. This is leading to rapidly rising populations. In fact, 97 out of every 100 new people on the planet are currently born in developing countries. Qatar – which has a large immigrant workforce – has seen its population rise rapidly in recent years.

In richer economies, although death rates are also low, widely-available birth control and a desire for smaller families keep birth rates subdued. Fewer babies ensures populations level off or even decline. Moldova, although poor by European standards, has seen its population drop mainly because of emigration.

Fastest-growing country


+514 people per day

Average 2005-2010 Why?

Fastest-shrinking country


-106 people per day

Average 2005-2010 Why?

Life expectancy varies across the world. Are you:

81.6 Female average

77.2 Male average

The average life expectancy in the UK is 81.6 years. Japan’s high life expectancy has been put down to a combination of a healthy diet and good public health provision, which includes regular check-ups. The low life expectancy of those born in poorer countries, such as the Central African Republic, is explained by a number of factors, including poverty, conflict, poor access to health care and the high prevalence of Aids.

Highest life expectancy= Japan= 82.7 years ……………………..Average 2005-2010 Why?  

Lowest life expectancy: Central African Republic= 45.9 years ………………..Average 2005-2010 Why?

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the amount the population has grown while you’ve been on this site

Sources:  All population data are based on estimates by the UN Population Division and all calculations provided by the UN Population Fund. The remaining data are from other sections of the UN, the Global Footprint Network and the International Telecommunications Union.

Want to find out more? Visit the UN Population Fund’s detailed population calculator, 7 billion and me.

Notes on the data: Only birth dates after 1910 can be accommodated and only countries with populations of more than 100,000 people are included. Where available, the UN’s medium variant and average figures from 2005-2010 have been used. World and country population clocks are estimates based on the latest UN figures and growth rates. They may not tally precisely with other clocks because of the way this application is configured.

Three country groupings – developed, developing and least developed – featured in the conclusions are those referenced by the UN for assessing the Millennium Development Goals. The transition countries of Eastern Europe have been grouped with developed nations.

Read the answers to frequently asked questions here.

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