# How Many Souls Have Ever Lived?

This question is related to How Did Ussher Determine That the World Began on "Sunday Evening, October 23, 4004 B.C."?

From a Christian perspective (i.e., beginning with the premise that the human race is approximately 6,000 years old)---has anyone come across an estimate (with underlying justifications) for the number of souls that have thus far existed on earth?

Of course, such can only be an educated guess based on a mathematical model with certain underlying assumptions. In fact, I recently looked over an article published in 1996 by the MAA entitled "How Many People Have Ever Lived"---but the model used therein was merely an exponential growth model which is clearly erroneous as it gives no consideration to the carrying capacity of the earth.

One need not be a mathematician to answer this question, as I would be very happy with a good reference or two pointing me to appropriate literature. Perhaps some astute Christian considered this problem centuries ago? Does anyone know of one?

To recapitulate:

QUESTION: How many souls have ever lived? Who has considered the problem (not from a standpoint of strict exponential population growth) from a Christian perspective; and where may I find the literature?

Thank you.

• I don't understand how this question is related to Christianity, it seems a simple statistics question. What's the link to Christianity? Jul 13 at 0:53
• @IsaacMiddlemiss Starting point Adam and Eve (not 50,000 years ago); as for statistics---definitely not.
– DDS
Jul 13 at 0:58

Historical Estimates of World Population shows the world population as single-digit millions before 3000 BC.

Given that the world is currently approaching 5-digit millions, I suspect it doesn't make much significant difference even if a thousand generations before Adam were included.

How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth? | PRB contains this table:

YEAR POPULATION BIRTHS/1000 BIRTHS BETWEEN NUMBER EVER BORN PERCENT
190,000 B.C.E 2 80
50,000 B.C.E. 2,000,000 80 7,856,100,000 7,856,100,002 0
8000 B.C.E. 5,000,000 80 1,137,789,769 8,993,889,771 0.1
1 C.E. 300,000,000 80 46,025,332,354 55,019,222,125 0.5
1200 450,000,000 60 26,591,343,000 81,610,565,125 0.6
1650 500,000,000 60 12,782,002,453 94,392,567,578 0.5
1750 795,000,000 50 3,171,931,513 97,564,499,091 0.8
1850 1,265,000,000 40 4,046,240,009 101,610,739,100 1.2
1900 1,656,000,000 40 2,900,237,856 104,510,976,956 1.6
1950 2,499,000,000 31-38 3,390,198,215 107,901,175,171 2.3
2000 6,149,000,000 22 6,064,994,884 113,966,170,055 5.4
2010 6,986,000,000 20 1,364,003,405 115,330,173,460 6.1
2022 7,963,500,000 17 1,690,275,115 117,020,448,575 6.8
2035 8,899,000,000 16 1,758,578,889 118,779,027,464 7.5
2050 9,752,000,000 14 2,068,409,608 120,847,437,072 8.1

and estimates the current total to be a little over 117,000,000,000, with about 7% of everyone that has ever lived being alive today.

• Interesting that they started with a population of 2. Jul 13 at 11:33
• Thank you for this answer.
– DDS
Jul 13 at 19:33
• Does this represent any Christian belief? Jul 14 at 1:07
• @User14, some Christian denominations believe that the "2" were somewhere around 4000 BC, while some denominations accept the secular 190,000 BC. There's about 10% difference between the two, which I suspect is well within the accuracy of these estimates. The difference in numbers between the two different beliefs isn't significant. Jul 14 at 2:10