Projection of World Population

L. David Roper (
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060

2016 Update


This is an update of the web page including world-population data through 2010.

Fits to the Data

The three fits in the original paper have been refitted to data from 1950 through 2010. As before, the generalized-inverse-tangent fit is slightly better than the inverse-tangent fit and an even better fit than the Verhults fit:

This graph show the fit curves extended back to year 1600, but the data from 1600 to 1949 was not included in the fit.

Population Theory

World population grow so fast and large because humans discovered how to extract fossil fuels from the earth and obtain energy from those fuels. Without the use of fossil fuels human population would probably have approached an asymptote long before now. As fossil-fuels extraction declines and the only available sources of energy return to solar, the population must at least level off as it appears to be doing, or it must decline, which is probably more likely.

L. David Roper interdisciplinary studies

L. David Roper,