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American Museum of Natural History


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, History, Geography

Resource Types

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 24 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

Human Population Through Time

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  • This video provides an animated map of human population growth and settlement locations throughout human history.
  • It provides numerous historical references as the map continues to add one dot for every 1 million people added to the planet and it provides estimates for the future size of the human population.
Teaching Tips


  • The facts are presented clearly and the music in the background is captivating.
  • Students get a very clear picture of how quickly human population growth increased over the last 200 years and the locations where our population is the most dense.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There may be an advertisement at the beginning of the video.
  • The teacher may want to download the video from the link provided to show offline.


  • This resource could be used in a lesson that focuses on world history, human civilizations, population dynamics, sustainability, or biodiversity loss.
  • Science and biology classes could use this video as an example of exponential growth and relate it to lessons about ecosystems and the natural factors that keep populations from growing exponentially.
  • Other recommended resources include Globalization and the Environment, this video about empowering women, and this interactive table of climate solutions.
Scientist Notes
The resource provides the history of human population growth and expansion from AD 1 - 2016. It is insightful to enable students to predict population growth or decline for 2100. The facts presented are accurate and this is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.3.9-12 Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.2.6-8 Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity.
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