World Population History website

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SUBJECTS: Social Studies

TOPICS: Demographic Transition Model, Fertility/Mortality, Climate Change, Ecological Footprints, Land Use, World Population Trends/History, Urbanization

The cornerstone of World Population History is an interactive map of the world, where dots represent human population (one dot = one million people). At any time between 1 CE and 2050, you can zoom in on the map and click on individual dots to learn more about the population of that area. Turn on any number of map overlays to see how fertility rates, carbon emissions, land cover, and life expectancy have changed around the world as population increased. A historic timeline accompanies the map, offering context to the population numbers indicated on the map. Milestones relating to food, technology, people and society, health, and the environment inform about events, inventions, and social movements that have impacted human numbers over time.

Four contextual readings and six classroom lessons plans are available to help teachers utilize the site in the classroom. These detailed, teacher-friendly lessons incorporate a variety of the site’s features as well as hands-on simulations that are sure to be meaningful and memorable. is a must-use resource for anyone teaching about human population growth!

Features of This Resource

  • Perfect tool for high school technology integration and distance learning
  • Five map overlays let you see another data set on the map with population. Overlays include: urbanization, fossil fuel, CO2 emissions, fertility rate by county, life expectancy by country, and land use.
  • Fun “attention grabbers” for students, like #MyPopNumber – enter your birthday and find what number person you were on the planet
  • Home of the World Population “dot” video
  • Interactive graph the the UN’s population projections for 2100

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