Human population through time

6 minutes

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

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on
Facebook
Like

‘I read one article and decided that I wanted to support an organisation that promotes critical thinking around ideas that affect our everyday lives.’

John T, Canada, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is what readers and writers dream about. It is wide in scope, without ever being shallow. It offers stimulating issues, yet never seeking to be tantalising.

Publishing at its best. I love it.’

Professor Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford

‘Aeon is consistently the place to find excellent, provocative and thoughtful writing.

One of my favourite places to find new writers and new ideas.’

Professor Sophie Kerttu Scott, University College London

‘Thought-provoking, eclectic, open-minded and user friendly.

Aeon is like no other site on the internet.’

Larry D, UK, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is always providing great, thought-provoking content, and it would be a crime for me to not donate to a service that I use daily.’

Jarry A, Canada, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Essay/
Cities
A metropolitan world

Urbanisation might be the most profound change to human society in a century, more telling than colour, class or continent

Michael Goebel

Essay/
Religion
Not your Tibetan Buddhism

Behind the beatific image of Tibetan Buddhism lies a dark, complicated reality. But is it one the Western gaze wants to see?

Mark Hay