Population History of Earth. China, India, and contrast with the West

The population estimates are taken mainly from www.populstat.com (archive 2018) and www.worldometers.info and here for ancient China and here for ancient India.

Earth population estimates are taken from www.statista.com

Intro: Earth Population in 1 AD

The earth's international language after the flood circa 2300BC appears to have become a Semitic language (22 letter alphabet) called Hebrew/Aramaic with the earth's population growing to around 50 million. After Alexander the Great in 300BC, it became Greek in the East (24 letter alphabet) and then Latin in the West (23 letter alphabet). Since 1700AD it has steadily become English (26 letter alphabet).

But back at the time of Christ, the earth's estimated total population was 200 million,
China estimated at 60 million, India 60 million, and the Parthian Empire (modern day Iran) between 7 - 20 million.
Click here for the start of the Persian (and after 247 BC the Parthian) empire under Cyrus the Great, as recorded in Daniel.
With regards to Iran, a census in 1857 showed Persia (as it was again known) to be just 4 million. Since 1857 Iran has grown to 80 million

In this Roman Empire estimate from 14 AD, the eastern region shows Anatolia (modern day Turkey) with 8 million, Egypt and Libya 5 million, Syria and Judaea 4 million, the Greek Peninsula 3 million, totalling 20 million.

In the West, Italy including Rome shows 7 million, Gaul (ie Britain & France) plus Germany 6 million, Iberia (Spain) 5 million, Danube Region (ie Austria-Hungary & Slavic peoples) 3 million, Maghreb (Northern Africa) 3 million, Others 1 million, totalling 25 million.

The population of the other individual nations / tribes in the rest of Asia was probably less than one million. This was also the case in much of Africa, in Australia, and also America, in their "pueblos" as the Spanish later called their villages. Where every tribe with their own languages and in most cases, their own scripts settled after the flood. People as now moved to where education, farms and townships, trade roads and ports predominated, and where business contracts could be made.


Regarding ancient maps 400 BC to 400 AD

End intro

In the columns below, India includes the modern countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh up to 1900.

Click here for a History of India, a most diverse country, with numerous languages and scripts.

Click here for some Background to China, by 1800 easily the largest kingdom in the world with its own language and script.

Click here for Moscow in 1283, traditionally the year of its first monastery. In 1582 Western Siberia was invaded by Russian Cossacks, building the town of Tobolsk in 1590 to be its historic capital. By 1640 they were encroaching upon Manchuria in China, though were driven back in 1685, signing a cross-border trading agreement instead in 1689. They settled the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula and reached "Russian America" in 1732, later selling it (as Alaska) to the USA in 1867. Finally the Chinese were pressured into signing the Treaty of Aigun in 1858, providing Russia with the port of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean in 1862. These events mitigated to some extent Russia's poor outcome in the west in the Crimean War 1853-1856.

With relation to the Ukraine (literally border country), its capital Kiev was a Slavic settlement that was invaded by Goths, Huns, Bulgarians and Kazakhs (Cossacks) before being captured by the Viking Oleg, ruler of Novgorod (in the north) about 879. Famously "Christianized" with a mass baptism in 988 by its ruler Vladimir the Great, it became a major city in Europe, growing to 50,000 inhabitants on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople. It was then completely destroyed during the Mongol invasions that occurred in 1240. It came under a union of Poland and Lithuania in 1340, a Cossack state in 1648, was incorporated into Russia in 1764, and except for a short period in 1918-1921 did not achieve independence until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Click here for the other Soviet Republics.

Click here for the History of Canada, Mexico and the US, and their breaking away from Europe while retaining the French language to some extent in Canada, Spanish in Mexico, and English in the US. Through the US's predominant influence in the United Nations (at least initially), in Banking, in Media and in Computers, US English today has become the defacto international language.

Large Countries Asia and Russia

Han Chinese
IndiaPakistanBangladeshIndonesiaJapanRussia & USSR(1922‑1991)
Area Sq.Kms. 9.5 million3.3 million880,000150,0001.9 million
(Java 128,000)
378,00017 million
USSR(22.4 million)
Communication todayEnglishMandarinHindiPunjabi & EnglishBengaliJavanese & IndonesianJapanese
Population in millions
2000 BCUnknown6
500 BC1001225
1 AD2006060< 1< 1< 1

** In 1980 China adopted a one-child policy per family. It became a two-child policy in 2015, and a three-child policy in 2021.

Each Major City
World Cities Populations

and Historical urban community size

202020m30m16m21m31m37m12 - 20m


Other large populations in Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa

Middle East

  1. Iran 6 million in 1800, 4 million in 1850, 10 million in 1900, 20 million in 1958, 40 million in 1982, 83 million today.
  2. Turkey 5 million in 1800, 10 million in 1885, 20 million in 1949, 40 million in 1975, 84 million today.


  1. Philippines 600,000 in 1565, 2½ million in 1830, 7 million in 1898, 20 million in 1950, 50 million in 1980, 109 million today.
    Philippines was ruled by Spain from 1565 until 1898 when it became a US Territory. Commonwealth status (a transition phase towards independence) was granted in 1935. The country was conquered by Japan 1942-1945, and then gained full independence in 1946.
  2. Vietnam 7 million in 1800, 14 million in 1900, 30 million in 1954, 60 million in 1985, 97 million today.
    Vietnam was split into north and south after the Japanese left in 1945. After the French left in 1955, South Vietnam had two Catholic military presidents with strong US support
    1. Ngo Dinh Diem until 1963 when he was killed in a coup d'etat by his successor.
    2. Nguyen Van Thieu until his resignation on April 21 1975, fleeing to Taiwan five days later.
    Australia's military commitment to South Vietnam lasted from April 1965 to January 1973. By the morning of April 30 1975 the US had also fully withdrawn, and Saigon fell to northern troops at noon the same day. It was subsequently renamed as Ho Chi Minh city.
  3. Cambodia 2 million in 1800, 1 million in 1900, 2 million in 1920, 4 million in 1950, 8 million in 1990, 15 million today.
  4. Thailand 4 million in 1800, 5 million in 1850, 6 million in 1900, 10 million in 1927, 20 million in 1951, 30 million in 1964, 40 million in 1974, 50 million in 1984, 60 million in 1996, 70 million today.
  5. Myanmar (Burma) 4 million in 1800, 5 million in 1900, 10 million in 1910, 20 million in 1954, 30 million in 1975, 40 million in 1989, 50 million in 2003, 54 million today.
  6. South Korea In 1900 the country was undivided and South Korea's share of the population was about 5 million. In 1910 Japan annexed the whole country. Following Japan's defeat and with Soviet troops advancing, the country was divided at the 38th parallel by US troops on 10 August 1945. The south's population share was then about 16 million, and Seoul resumed its traditional role as the capital city. South Korea grew to 20 million in 1950, 51 million today.
  7. North Korea is about 26 million today. In 1900, its share of the population had been about 7 million, and in 1945 about 9 million. When Soviet troops entered Pyongyang on 25 August 1945, it became a temporary capital for the provisional government, then the de facto capital after 1948. At least 400,000 refugees fled south at the time, with that figure possibly as high as 4 million during the five years 1945-1950. In May 1946 the Soviet-US joint commission who were overseeing Korea's reunification made it illegal to cross the 38th Parallel without a permit. Following the failure of the commission, first South then North Korea appointed their own leaders in 1948. In 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea with the aid of Stalin. They captured Seoul in late June 1950, were forced out by the UN in September, recaptured it with the aid of Mao's army in early January 1951, before being forced out again in March. A long stalemate followed, arguments over POWs with numerous North Korean and Chinese POWs not wanting to be returned to their homeland. Finally an armistice was arranged in 1953 with ⅔ of the Chinese POWs heading to Taiwan. Both sides lost 1 to 1½ million people each during the war, the UN, well, mainly the US assisting the south. From Australia 17,000 military personnel served between June 1950 and July 1953 with 339 Australians dead and 1200 wounded.

South America

  1. Brazil To go to the "New World" and its info click here. Population 212 million today. Ruled by Portugal until 1825.
  2. Colombia 1½ million in 1800, 4 million in 1903, 12 million in 1953, 51 million today. Ruled by Spain until 1810.


  1. Nigeria 15 million in 1900, 30 million in 1948, 60 million in 1972, 120 million 1998, 203 million today.
    Independence from Great Britain came in 1960. With Great Britain's war against the slave trade, it had annexed Lagos back in 1861, and then the colony of Nigeria in 1900.
  2. Ethiopia 10 million in 1900, 20 million in 1955, 40 million in 1982, 75 million in 2005, 113 million today.
  3. Egypt 2 million in 1700, 4 million in 1800, 7½ million in 1880, 15 million in 1930, 30 million in 1965, 50 million in 1985, 101 million today.
  4. Congo (Democratic Republic) 4 million in 1900, 10 million in 1937, 20 million in 1971, 45 million in 1997, 88 million today.
    A declaration of "private ownership" of the land known as Congo Free State was made by King Leopold of Belgium at the West Africa Conference in Berlin in 1885. Following pressure from Great Britain and the US and somewhat reluntantly due to the extra responsibility, Belgium annexed the Congo in 1908. Independence from Belgium came in 1960. Renamed as Zaire from 1971-1997.
  5. South Africa 5 million in 1900, 12 million in 1949, 32 million in 1984, 59 million today.
    Independence from Great Britain came in 1961. The British had been in the Cape Colony (Cape of Good Hope) since 1795. Great Britain's military invasion there had followed the French Revolution, when French troops had entered and then taken over the Dutch Republic — which at that time stretched from Holland – next door to France – via the Cape of Good Hope as far as Batavia (Java) in the East Indies. In 1910 Cape Colony combined with three other British colonies to form the Union of South Africa.
  6. Tanzania 4 million in 1900, 8 million in 1949, 20 million in 1984, 59 million today.
    From 1885 to 1919 Tanganyika (on the mainland) had been part of German East Africa. Independence from Great Britain came in 1964 when Tanganyika united with Zanzibar (a coastal archipelago) to form Tanzania.
  7. Kenya 1 million in 1900, 3 million in 1930, 8 million in 1960, 20 million in 1985, 53 million today.
    Independence from Great Britain came in 1962. It was earlier known as British East Africa, following missionary and later commercial activity (in 1888), then becoming a British protectorate in 1895.


England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain

Area Sq.Kms.130,000644,000357,000300,000505,000
Main Language
after 1500
Population in millions
1 AD375
13005Edict of Expulsion royal decree in 1290 by Edward 1 expelled all Jews from England. It lasted until 1655
Bubonic Plague (Black Death in England) 1348-1349 and 1361-1362
Genesis 12:1-3

Capital Cities Greater Metropolitan Area

60 AD30,0005,000n/a1mn/a


Scotland, Wales and Ireland, historically low populations, relative to England

IrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandWales
Island of Ireland
Area Sq.Kms.70,00014,00080,00020,000
Main Language
before English
Irish Gaelic
before 1840
Scottish Gaelic
before 1600-1700
British Celtic
before 1911
Population in millions
1 ADUnknown
1844-46Great Potato Famine, a time when 3 million people in Ireland were dependent on the potato crop as a food source, a water mould disease probably from the US wiped it out during three years. By 1851, 22,000 had died from starvation, a conservative figure of 400,000 had died from famine-related diseases (diphtheria, dysentery, cholera, smallpox, influenza), and by 1855 more than 1½ million adults and children had emigrated to the US. Similar to the impact of the black death in England in 1348 which wiped out more than half its population, Catholic Ireland's population in 1840 of over 6 million dropped to less than 3 million in 1920, with major resentment directed towards Protestant England for their lack of help.


New World

Australia, USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil

Area Sq.Kms.7.7 million9.8 million10 million2 million8.5 million
Main Language
after 1800
(& French)
Population in millions
1 ADUnknown

Click here for What about the billions who have never heard about Jesus

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