China continues to reign as the world's most populous country with a population of 1,338,612,968. India follows next with a close count of 1,156,897,766 and then the United States with 307,212,123. The world is now 6,780,445,823 richer in terms of human capital. And this exponential growth in population will reach 9 billion in 2050.
Don't you ever wonder how the world gets to know such tremendous information? Or how we are able to know the total population on Earth? Someone might answer the television or the Internet. But there has to be a root source for all of that data. The simple answer is the US Census Bureau International Data Base or IDB.
After it started providing the world with census data and demographic projections in the 1960s, the US Census Bureau International Data Base released its first comprehensive population report in the 1980s with over 200 countries involved. It gathers data based on the de facto population of the world. This means the Census Bureau considers every person physically present in a given country at a given time, whether or not they are citizens. The only exception to this parameter is the non-inclusion of foreign military populations and tourists who stay in the country for short periods of time. To ensure the accuracy of its data, the bureau considers every possible factor that may affect the world's demographics such as wars, natural disasters and famine.
The US Census Bureau is accessible through its website census.gov where you can see rankings in world population by country from 1950 to 2050, world population growth rates and annual changes in world population. The website also provides complete data on the composition of the world by sex and age. For clarification of terms used on the site and other demography coinages, the IDB website contains links to a glossary and methodology. It is a very user-friendly site where anyone can easily be a demographic genius. If you cannot be online all the time, the site also provides a download option in PDF format for you to read census data offline.
Importance of Human Population Census Data
The constitution of the Unites States requires the county's population to be specified and brought to public knowledge at least once every ten years, enabling the Electoral College to set the number of seats per state. Similar if not greater roles are played by these population figures in every nation around the world. Population census data allows the national budget to be properly directed to the right points of allocation. It helps governments decide on determining quantities and locations of new housing and public facilities, blueprints for public transportation plans, localization of police and fire stations and many more. Population census data also helps businesses determine and estimate product demands, anticipating public needs. The data also contributes a lot to businesses in the decisions regarding their employment options.
Now that we know there is an existing provider of data on world population, we don't have to worry about not knowing how many inhabitants we have on Earth. What we have to worry about now is how to address the underlying issues and implications of knowing these figures in the census data. The fact is that millions are suffering from chronic malnutrition in Africa. In Asia, many are still homeless despite the economic progress in some of these countries. We still face critical questions about food security and poverty. These things are what the census should be about.