How many people have ever lived or died?

“This semi-scientific approach yields an estimate of about 106 billion births since the dawn of the human race. Clearly, the period 8000 B.C. to 1 A.D. is key to the magnitude of our number, but, unfortunately, little is known about that era. Some readers may disagree with some aspects— or perhaps nearly all aspects—of the table, but at least it offers one approach to this elusive issue. If we were to make any guess at all, it might be that our method underestimates the number of births to some degree. The assumption of constant population growth in the earlier period may underestimate the average population size at the time. And, of course, pushing the date of humanity’s arrival on the planet before 50,000 B.C. would also raise the number, although perhaps not by terribly much.”

http://www.prb.org/pdf/PT_novdec02.pdf

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