Teacher's Guide: Discussion Questions

World Population Growth, 1950–2050

Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects, The 2008 Revision.

According to the projection shown on "World Population Growth, 1950–2050," about how much growth is projected to occur in less developed countries between 1950 and 2050? How does this compare to population growth in more developed countries?


  1. During what "age" of human history did the world's population begin to grow rapidly?
  2. What was the world's population in 2005? How many people were added to the world population in 2005?
  3. In which region does the greatest share of the world's population reside?
  4. Which regions have the fastest rate of population growth?


Examine the World Population Data Sheet.

  1. Select five countries and find the corresponding population estimates and rates of natural increase. Apply the rate of natural increase to the population to find the number of people being added to those countries this year.
  2. Find the countries with the highest and lowest rates of natural increase. In which regions are these countries located?


World population growth was very slow during the Stone Age. Why was growth so slow during this period?