World Population Milestone
The 200 years since the Industrial Revolution began (watch overview) have seen a massive population explosion due to a reduction in child mortality and an increase in life expectancy. Improvements in food production, sanitation, and medicine—as well as widespread access to household items like refrigerators and ammonia—have drastically reduced hunger and disease globally.
Annual population growth peaked at just over 2% in the early 1960s and has since declined to under 1% amid a decrease in fertility rates. By the end of this century, total annual deaths are expected to surpass births, likely resulting in a decline in population (learn why).
Overall, demographers estimate almost 120 billion people have lived on Earth.