Does anybody have an idea about how many people have lived on our planet in total?
March 30, 2006 5:11 AM   Subscribe

How many people have walked the earth?

Including every person alive today?
posted by Haarball to Science & Nature (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

One estimate.

Another estimate.

Cecil's take
, but no figures are given.
posted by arco at 5:17 AM on March 30, 2006

Google Answers says 100 billion (but depending on when you start counting).
posted by cerbous at 5:19 AM on March 30, 2006

A quick Google search produces estimates ranging from 96,100,000,000 to 110,000,000,000.
posted by wannalol at 5:23 AM on March 30, 2006

(There is no single right answer to this question, unless you come up with a very firm definition of "person." Did Neanderthals count? Homo species before Homo sapiens? Australopithecines?)
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:33 AM on March 30, 2006

nebulawindphone: How about starting with Adam and Eve?
posted by Haarball at 5:34 AM on March 30, 2006

How about starting with Adam and Eve?

Here's a start.
posted by teem at 6:10 AM on March 30, 2006

Arthur C. Clarke wrote, "Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth," in 1968, when the world's population was 3.5 billion. Just some more food for thought.
posted by knave at 6:58 AM on March 30, 2006

If you asked a solipsist, the answer would be "one."
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:42 AM on March 30, 2006

I was discussing this with friends a while ago while talking about reincarnation, and I was stumped. Thanks for asking. And thanks for the links. Looks like I've got some reading to do...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:43 AM on March 30, 2006

Not to be politically incorrect, but you then need to figure out how many people since the dawn of time have suffered from paraplegia or quadriplegia since birth, and subtract their number ...

(Look at the question again.)
posted by WCityMike at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2006

Going along with what WCityMike says, my princess sister technically floats 6 inches above the ground, as well, so she doesn't count.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:37 AM on March 30, 2006

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