52 votes
Accepted

Why did the population of Descartes, France increase by so much in the 1960's?

Based on this page from the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, it appears that the neighbouring Balsesmes merged into La Haye-Descartes in 1966, before the combined commune was ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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48 votes
Accepted

Why did life expectancy decline sharply in 16th century England?

This was primarily due to the 1557 influenza pandemic, which returned in 1558 and perhaps lingered for another year or two. This was a global pandemic and other areas of Europe were also severely hit. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Why did the population of Anchorage, Alaska, increase by so much in the 1970s?

There were two major, interrelated events that caused this population boom in the 1970s. The first was the discovery of oil on Alaska's North Slope at Prudhoe Bay and elsewhere in 1968 and 1969. The ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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36 votes
Accepted

When was the 50 billionth human born?

Data published by the demographer Carl Haub and Dr. Toshiko Kaneda in How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth? on the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) website suggests that the 50 billionth person ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
32 votes

Which countries (or comparable geographical units) have a lower population now than they used to at some point in history before 1950?

The population of Latvia today is estimated at 1.9m, slightly below the 1.95m census population of 1935 and substantially below an estimated pre-WWI population of around 2.5m in 1914. It peaked at a ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
29 votes

Which countries (or comparable geographical units) have a lower population now than they used to at some point in history before 1950?

The US state of West Virginia (about 62,000 square kilometers), reached its recorded population peak of a hair over 2 million people at the 1950 census. It declined immediately thereafter, and has ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
29 votes

Which countries (or comparable geographical units) have a lower population now than they used to at some point in history before 1950?

East Germany (the former GDR) had a steady population decline since the 1950s which continues until today. They started with about 18.5 million in 1950 and had about 16.5 million in 1989. In 2015 the ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
28 votes

Why did the population of Anchorage, Alaska, increase by so much in the 1970s?

University of Alaska, Anchorage published a study into People and Economy of Alaska, which can be viewed here. From that source, I'd say there are following reasons for their population boom: ...
NSNoob's user avatar
  • 8,195
28 votes
Accepted

What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

According to this article the ratio rose from 1.10 to about 1.54 (ratio of men/women fell from 0.91 to about 0.65) between 1941 and 1946 in the draft-age group (people born around 1887 to 1927), which ...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
27 votes

Why is the island of Java so populated?

The most fundamental reason with respect to other parts of tropical Asia is the earlier adoption of wet rice cultivation in Java. Grigg points out that the only places in Asia that had greater ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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21 votes
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Which countries (or comparable geographical units) have a lower population now than they used to at some point in history before 1950?

Overview Roll-up wiki digest of answers. All answers listed are taken from (non-wiki) answers below. If you want to read details on any one answer, look for it in its own detailed answer. Please add ...
18 votes

Which countries (or comparable geographical units) have a lower population now than they used to at some point in history before 1950?

One answer that hasn't been mentioned yet is Sakhalin. (I agree that West Virginia and East Germany are great answers, by the way, and upvoted both of those ) At 500,000 today, Sakhalin appears to ...
C Monsour's user avatar
  • 4,244
17 votes

What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

The Soviet population in 1941 was 196,716,000. In 1946, it was 170,548,000.[1] That's a difference of 26,168,000 people. According to a study published by the Russian Academy of Science[2], there were ...
Luís Henrique's user avatar
17 votes

Why do Wikipedia's and Guinness World Records's measurements of the Achaemenid Empire's percentage of world population differ?

Wikipedia gives population estimates for the Achaemenid Empire of between 17 and 35 million people (but without a year). Given that, at best, very few population records that may have existed at that ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
16 votes

Are there any examples of overpopulation?

Because people are quibbling in comments over the meaning of "overpopulation", it might suggest that this question is broad or unclear. So let's look at it from a different angle. In the 1960's, Dr. ...
Spencer's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

Why have population maps indicated a stark divide in population density of the United States on either side ot the 100th Meridian?

The answer is related to the map you posted about rainfall. The population of the eastern third of the continental US is denser because of settlement patterns that reflect the local availability of ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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14 votes

When did Northern India and N. China begin to dominate in global demographics?

Using the delta areas as proxies for the entire river valley systems: The area of the Ganges delta (about 59,000 km2) is nearly 4 times as large as Mesopotamia (about 15,000 km2), and 3 times as ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Was the population of Moscow wildly overstated during the Cold War?

Russian urbanization in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras (2012), p. 22, states: However, the GPW rapidically reshaped the population dynamics of the region. Even as late as 1959, the populations ...
Peter Diehr's user avatar
  • 6,809
13 votes

Are there any examples of overpopulation?

Maybe not Joseph Tainter argues, in Archeology of Overshoot and Collapse, that so far there is no evidence of a Malthusian catastrophe. Whether you follow Tainter in this assertion will in part depend ...
mart's user avatar
  • 4,768
13 votes

Was there any country/form of goverment that sustained itself with diverse population?

Most empires (Achaemenid, Roman, Eastern Roman, Osman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian) had very diverse populations and were quite sustainable. Even if you count Eastern Roman empire separately from the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Were death rates greater than birth rates in premodern urban populations?

While Peter Turchin has overstated the case, it is most likely that this was usually true. Infant mortality rates were very high until they started to decline in the early decades of the 20th century (...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
12 votes

Are there any examples of overpopulation?

As noted in the discussion on the question, there are two kinds of overpopulation which I'll call "chronic" and "acute". Chronic overpopulation, where the full production capacity of agriculture in ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 7,728
11 votes

What was the population of late Pre-Islamic Arabia and the population of Arabic speakers before Islam?

According to Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones, at the beginning of the Christian era it was about 2 million, and in the next 2 pairs of centuries it geometrically rose to about 2 2/3 million, then ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
11 votes

How many people lived in a medium sized European villiage around the year 800?

The book The Medieval Village, by George Coulton, has some information which seems to provide a basis for calculating an answer to your question. According to the first column of information, in the ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.1k
11 votes
Accepted

What happened in Kazakhstan that its population dropped from 16m to 14m between 1992 - 2001?

The dissolution of the Soviet Union, which led to economic upheaval & hardship as well as a significant amount of emigration. From p. 9 of this 2012 conference paper, found by Googling "...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Are there any scientific estimates for the population of Mycenaean Greece?

There are no really reliable estimates for the population of Mycenaean Greece, although scholars have supplied some (more or less educated) guesses. On the more conservative end of the scale, Stanford'...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
10 votes

What was the estimated population living in Egypt around 1446 BC?

Population estimates A number of estimates have been made for the population of ancient Egypt but, as the article The people of ancient Egypt says, Egyptologists tend to dodge the issue of ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
9 votes

What was the population of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent in 1800 AD?

India's first (& most reliable) census was from 1867 to 1871, known as the 1872 Census of India. The Government of India confirms this in their census history. So, there is no data prior to this ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
9 votes
Accepted

Why does the parish register show more baptisms than burials?

I have seen similar patterns in other parishes where I've been researching my own ancestors. A number of factors were at play, and it is difficult to be specific for a particular parish, however, the ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k

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