• Trends in national mortality rates •  

Graphs showing time trends in mortality rates

Population of the world and continental regions,

all ages: 1950-2010

Graph showing population of world and continents

Notes: In 1950, the world's population was 2.5 billion. The population reached 3 billion in 1960, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, and 6 billion in 1999. Projections suggest that it will reach 7 billion in 2012.

In 2005, 3.94 billion people lived in Asia, 920 million in Africa, 730 million in Europe (including all of Russia), 560 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, 330 million in Northern America (the United States and Canada), and 30 million in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia). In a representative sample of 1000 humans, 604 would be Asian, 142 African, 112 European, 86 Latin American or Caribbean, 51 Northern American, and 5 Oceanian.

Europe's population has barely altered since the early 1990s, perhaps peaking at 731 million in 2007. In 1950, 2.4 times as many people lived in Europe as in Africa, but Africa's population overtook Europe's in 1996. The population of Latin America and the Caribbean first exceeded that of Northern America in 1953, and it will soon exceed that of Europe.

Source of data: United Nations Population Division, "World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision".

WHO mortality rates for particular countries, ages and causes of death