Data

Population

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About this data

Population
Population by country, available from 10,000 BCE to 2100, based on data and estimates from different sources.
Source
Gapminder - Population v7 (2022); Gapminder - Systema Globalis (2022); HYDE (2017); United Nations - World Population Prospects (2022) – with major processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
March 31, 2023
Next expected update
August 2024
Date range
10000 BCE – 2021 CE
Unit
persons

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

Retrieved on
March 31, 2023
Retrieved from
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Gapminder Population v7 (2022).
Gapminder's population data is divided into two chunks: One long historical trend for the global population that goes back to 10,000 BC. And the second chunk is country estimates that only reaches back to 1800. For the first chunk, several sources were used. You can learn more at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hkLbEilJbl630IG68q-aQJlUjuTFm9b_12nQMVd1sZM/edit#gid=0. For the second chunk, Gapminder uses UN population data between 1950 to 2100 from the UN Population Division World Population Prospects 2019, and the forecast to the year 2100 uses their medium-fertility variant. For years before 1950, this version uses the data documented in greater detail by Mattias Lindgren in version 3. The main source was Angus Maddison's data, which CLIO Infra Project maintained and improved. Note that when combining version 3 with the new UN data, the trends for a few countries didn't match up in the overlapping year 1950. Minor adjustments were made to the years before and after to smooth out discrepancies between the two sources and avoid spurious jumps in Gapminder's visualisations. Visit https://www.gapminder.org/data/documentation/gd003/ to learn more about the methodology used and the data from back to 10,000 BC.
Retrieved on
March 31, 2023
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Gapminder - Systema Globalis (2023).

HYDE is an internally consistent combination of updated historical population (gridded) estimates and land use for the past 12,000 years. Categories include cropland, with a new distinction into irrigated and rain fed crops (other than rice) and irrigated and rain fed rice. Also grazing lands are provided, divided into more intensively used pasture, converted rangeland and non-converted natural (less intensively used) rangeland. Population is represented by maps of total, urban, rural population and population density as well as built-up area.

Retrieved on
October 1, 2021
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Klein Goldewijk, K., A. Beusen, J.Doelman and E. Stehfest (2017), Anthropogenic land use estimates for the Holocene; HYDE 3.2, Earth System Science Data, 9, 927-953.

World Population Prospects 2022 is the 27th edition of the official estimates and projections of the global population that have been published by the United Nations since 1951. The estimates are based on all available sources of data on population size and levels of fertility, mortality and international migration for 237 countries or areas. More details at https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/.

Retrieved on
September 9, 2022
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2022). World Population Prospects 2022, Online Edition.

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

Read about our data pipeline
Notes on our processing step for this indicator

The population time series is constructed by combining data from multiple sources:

  • 10,000 BCE - 1799: Historical estimates by HYDE (v3.2). Includes some data from Gapminder (Systema Globalis).

  • 1800-1949: Historical estimates by Gapminder. Includes some data from HYDE (v3.2) and Gapminder (Systema Globalis).

  • 1950-2021: Population records by the UN World Population Prospects (2022 revision). Includes some data from HYDE (v3.2), Gapminder (Systema Globalis) and Gapminder (v7).

  • 2022-2100: Projections based on Medium variant by the UN World Population Prospects (2022 revision).

Reuse this work

  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
  • All data, visualizations, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Population”, part of the following publication: Hannah Ritchie, Lucas Rodés-Guirao, Edouard Mathieu, Marcel Gerber, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, Joe Hasell and Max Roser (2023) - “Population Growth”. Data adapted from Gapminder, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, United Nations. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/population [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Gapminder - Population v7 (2022) and other sources – with major processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Gapminder - Population v7 (2022); Gapminder - Systema Globalis (2022); HYDE (2017); United Nations - World Population Prospects (2022) – with major processing by Our World in Data. “Population” [dataset]. Gapminder, “Population v7”; Gapminder, “Systema Globalis”; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, “HYDE 3.2”; United Nations, “World Population Prospects” [original data]. Retrieved June 15, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/population