Are there are more people alive today than have ever lived? Earth’s population reached seven billion in October. We need to figure out how that compares with the number of people who have lived before us. The problem is, how do you figure out how many people have ever lived, and where do you start?
The normal starting point is when Homo sapiens first walked the earth, about 50,000 years ago, so you have a starting point and an end figure, but it’s the time in between that’s the problem. In BBC News, Wesley Stephenson quotes demographer Wendy Baldwin as saying, "For 99% of that time there is no data.