Facebook's Population Is Now as Big as the Entire World's Was in 1804

In just eight years, Facebook has gained a population size that took humans hundreds of thousands of years to achieve.

shutterstock_77785531-615.jpg

Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

One billion people. That's how many active monthly users Facebook has accrued in the eight years of its existence, the company announced today.

It took the population of modern humans about 200,000 years to reach that number, a milestone that was hit, demographers believe, just over two centuries ago in 1804 (bearing in mind that population tabs, then and now, are not exactly precise). Since then, human population has just exploded, enabled and protected by advances in medicine, agriculture, and hygiene. In the past year, it is estimated that the human headcount hit 7 billion.

800px-World_population_growth_(lin-log_scale)-615.png

World population growth over the last 12,000 years, shown on a logarithmic scale (Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps the one real similarity between 1804 and 2012? 1804 was also a presidential election year. The candidates were Thomas Jefferson, the incumbent, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, an aristocrat from South Carolina. Jefferson won in a landslide.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Technology

Just In