How we became more than 7 billion – humanity’s population explosion, visualised

From our origins in Africa, humans began migrating around the globe roughly 100,000 years ago. But it was only with the advent of agriculture about 12,000 years ago that our population started to swell to more than a million. This data visualisation from the American Museum of Natural History beautifully charts humanity’s stunning – and increasingly alarming – exponential expansion to our current population of roughly 7.4 billion.

Video by the American Museum of Natural History Producer: Laura Moustakerski Animator: Shay Krasinksi

Support Aeon

‘I support Aeon because I support the spreading of wisdom.’

Tanner F, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Make a donation


CEOs should have been the fall guys; why are they still heroes?

Carl Rhodes Peter Bloom


Five miles of fake flowers, cat cushions and muzak: enter the world’s largest market

10 minutes

Essay/Political Philosophy

The voice of Hobsbawm

How the Marxist ideas of a British historian ended up on the bookshelves of Indian civil servants and Brazilian housewives

Emile Chabal


Evangelicals bring the votes, Catholics bring the brains

Gene Zubovich

Video/Law & Justice

Native cartography: a bold mapmaking project that challenges Western notions of place

10 minutes


Christian Zionism

It's one of the most successful, and in some ways unlikely, interfaith movements in the modern world

Dan Hummel