This page contains key facts about the world population – click the links provided in each section to find out more.

Included in this gateway page is the current world population (constantly updated) plus lists of the world’s most populated continents, countries and cities.

Quick navigation: World, Countries, Continents, Cities

Current world population

The world population in 2016 is 7.4 billion people. The total below is an up to the minute total – it is updated in real time to show how many people live ing the world today.

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The world’s population reached the landmark of 7 billion people on 31 October 2011 (source: United Nations). It is projected to pass the 8 billion mark in 2024.

World population is likely to peak at 9.2 billion in 2075, before levelling off and beginning a gradual decline

>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN THE WORLD TODAY

Largest countries in the world by population

Here is a list of the 10 most populous countries in the world. Although China is the world’s largest country by population, India is growing more quickly and is likely to overtake China in 2023.

Rank Country Population (2016)
1 China 1,382,323,332
2 India 1,326,801,576
3 USA 324,118,787
4 Indonesia 260,581,100
5 Brazil 209,567,920
6 Pakistan 192,826,502
7 Nigeria 186,987,563
8 Bangladesh 162,910,864
9 Russia 143,439,832
10 Mexico 128,632,004

Source: UN World Population Prospects 2015.

>>CLICK HERE TO READ A FULL LIST OF THE MOST POPULATED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

Continents by population

There are seven continents in the world today. This table lists how many people live on each continent. Asia is the most populated continent, while Antarctica is the least populated.

Rank Continent Population Percentage of world population
1 Asia 4,436,224,000 59.7%
2 Africa 1,216,130,000 16.4%
3 Europe 738,849,000 10.0%
4 North America 579,024,000 7.8%
5 South America 422,535,000 5.7%
6 Australia (plus Oceania) 39,901,000 0.5%
7 Antarctica 4,490 0.0%

Note: Oceania has been included in the figure for the continent of Australia. Percentages have been rounded to nearest 0.1%.

>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE POPULATION OF EACH CONTINENT

Largest cities in the world

There are fifteen cities in the world with a population of more than ten million people. Shanghai is the world’s most populous city.

Rank City Population Country
1 Shanghai 24,256,800 China
2 Karachi 23,500,000 Pakistan
3 Beijing 21,516,000 China
4 Delhi 16,349,831 India
5 Lagos 16,060,303 Nigeria
6 Tianjin 15,200,000 China
7 Istanbul 14,160,467 Turkey
8 Tokyo 13,513,734 Japan
9 Guangzhou 13,080,500 China
10 Mumbai 12,442,373 India

Note: This table lists the population of cities proper. 

Together, these cities have a combined population of 225 million people. If they were a country, they would be the 5th most populous country in the world.

>>CLICK HERE FOR A FULL LIST OF THE LARGEST CITIES IN THE WORLD