Every 24 hours, some 237,000 people are born and 140,000 die. That is 2.74 births and 1.62 deaths every second.
In 1800, 2.8 per cent of the world population was in the Americas, and 67 per cent in Asia. By 2000, 14 per cent were in the Americas and 58 per cent in Asia.
At the time of Christ, the world population was about 250 million. In 1600, it was about 500 million (including five million in Britain). The figure is estimated to have reached one billion in 1804, two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987 and six billion in 1999.
If the present population of over six and a half billion were shrunk to 100 people, keeping all categories in the same proportion, they would look like this:
♦ One person would be near death and one would be near birth.
♦ There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans and eight Africans.
♦ 52 would be female, 48 would be male.
♦ Six people would possess 59 per cent of the entire world's wealth.
♦ 80 would live in substandard housing.
♦ 70 would be unable to read.
♦ 50 would suffer from malnutrition.
♦ Only one would have a college education and only five would own a computer.
♦ According to American estimates, the world population reached six billion at 6.33pm on Monday, 9 August 1999.
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