Is predicting population growth over the next century within the experts’ reach?

The first United Nations population forecast came in 1958, when the world population sat just under 3 billion. Many were skeptical of the UN experts’ predictions that the population would double to roughly 6 billion by the year 2000, but their forecasts proved remarkably accurate. In this brief video, Professor Hans Rosling of the Karolinska Institute looks back at how UN population outlooks have played out in the past, and charts new predictions for the human population between now and 2100.

Video by Gapminder

Support Aeon

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

But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Idea/Economics

How Orwell used wartime rationing to argue for global justice

Bruce Robbins

Essay/History

The other side of the curtain

During the Cold War, US propagandists worked to provide a counterweight to Communist media, but truth eluded them all

Melissa Feinberg

Video/Politics & Government

A Canadian war memorial sparks a battle over what it means to love one’s country

22 minutes

Idea/Economics

Everyone in the world should be taxed on their energy footprint

Iason Athanasiadis

Essay/Subcultures

Touching the sky

At their best, daredevils rival philosophers and mystics in their exploration of human mortality and spirit

Lary Wallace

Video/History

A Confederate monument comes down in New Orleans – but not without a fight

17 minutes