The Harvest Fields • Statistics 2021 edition
compiled by Stephen Ross


Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest. Luke 10:2

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20a

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15b

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 1 John 4:14

Harvest Fields Index
Population Statistics: Country Statistics:
World's Total Largest Countries
Continent/Region Largest Urban Areas
Birth Rate 40%+ Under 15 Years Old
Death Rate Lowest Life Expectancy
Average Life Expectancy Muslim Countries
Age Structure Roman Catholic Countries
Major Religions    Languages References

Population Statistics

World Population Estimate5
7,775,380,529

For most up-to-date estimate, see U.S. and World Population Clock, United States Census Bureau.

The United Nations Population Division estimates that in 1 AD, there were 300 million people in the world; in 1250, 400 million; in 1500, 500 million. According to UN estimates, the world population reached 1 billion in 1804; rose to 2 billion 123 years later, in 1927; to 3 billion 33 years after that, in 1960; to 4 billion in 1974; to 5 billion in 1987; to 6 billion in 1999; and to 7 billion in 2011. The UN put the world population in mid-2020 at about 7.8 billion. It projects that the population will reach 8 billion by 2023.2

The U.N. expects that between 2020 and 2050, nine countries will account for more than half the increase in the world population (in descending order): India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and the U.S.

"To give a point of reference for the magnitude of one billion, it would require forty thousand trips around the world to equal one billion miles."4

Population by Continent/Region (2020 est.)2
Asia 4,539,569,435
Africa 1,339,491,577
Europe (incl. Russia) 749,332,680
Latin America* 644,336,252
North America** 370,467,900
Oceania (incl. Australia) 41,094,539
Antarctica no indigenous inhabitants
*Includes South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
**Includes the United States and Canada.
Note: Asia is home to about 60 percent of the global population.
China and India account for more than half of Asia's total population.

World Birth/Death Rates (2020 est.)1
Birth Rate: Death Rate:
18 births/1,000 population 8 deaths/1,000 population
135 million births each year 56.8 million people die each year
368,600 births each day 155,500 people die each day
15,360 births each hour 6480 people die each hour
259 births each minute 108 people die each minute
4.3 births each second 1.8 people die each second

Average Life Expectancy at Birth is 70.5 years (male:68.4 years; female: 72.6 years)1

Age Structure of World's Population1
1.95 billion people age 0-14 years (25%)
1.18 billion people age 15-24 years (15%)
3.12 billion people age 25-54 years (41%)
699 million people age 55-64 years (9%)
729 million people are 65 years and over (10%)

Country Statistics

Ten Largest Countries in Population (2020 est.)2

There are approximately 228 inhabited countries and territories in the world. China is the most populous nation with 1/5 of the world's people. About half the world's people live in the first six largest countries listed below.

China 1,394,015,977
India 1,326,093,247
United States 332,639,102
Indonesia 267,026,366
Pakistan 233,500,636
Nigeria 214,028,302
Brazil 211,715,973
Bangladesh 162,650,853
Russia 141,722,205
Mexico 128,649,565

The 20 Largest Built-Up Urban Areas in the World3

Urban Area Population*
1. Tokyo-Yokohama, Japan 37,977,000
2. Jakarta, Indonesia 34,540,000
3. Delhi, India 29,617,000
4. Mumbai (Bombay), India 23,355,000
5. Manila, Philippines 23,088,000
6. Shanghai, China 22,120,000
7. São Paulo, Brazil 22,046,000
8. Seoul-Incheon, South Korea 21,794,000
9. Mexico City, Mexico 20,996,000
10. Guangzhou-Foshan, China 20,902,000
11. New York City, U.S. 20,870,000
12. Beijing (Peking), China 19,433,000
13. Cairo, Egypt 19,372,000
14. Kolkata, India 17,560,000
15. Moscow, Russia 17,125,000
16. Bangkok, Thailand 17,066,000
17. Buenos Aires, Argentina 16,157,000
18. Shenzhen, China 15,929,000
19. Dhaka, Bangladesh 15,443,000
20. Los Angeles, United States 15,402,000

Note: Population figures for the world's largest cities differ from one statistical source to another because of the different concepts used (i.e. urban area, urban agglomerations, metropolitan areas, etc.)

Countries With 40% or More of the Population 0-14 Years of Age1
Country Population
0-14 Years of Age (%)
Afghanistan 41
Angola 48
Benin 46
Burkina Faso 44
Burundi 44
Cameroon 42
Central African Republic 40
Chad 47
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 46
Congo, Republic of the 42
Ethiopia 40
Gaza Strip 43
Guinea 41
Guinea-Bissau 43
Liberia 43
Malawi 46
Mali 48
Mozambique 46
Niger 51
Nigeria 42
Rwanda 40
Sao Tome and Principe 40
Senegal 40
Sierra Leone 41
Somalia 42
South Sudan 42
Sudan 42
Tanzania 43
Timor-Leste 40
Togo 40
Uganda 48
Zambia 46

Countries With Lowest Life Expectancy1
(under 60 yrs.)
Country Life Expectancy (yrs.)
Afghanistan 52.8
Angola 59.3
Central African Republic 54.2
Chad 58.3
Eswatini (Swaziland) 58.6
Lesotho 53
Mozambique 55.9
Niger 59.3
Sierra Leone 59.8
Somalia 54
South Sudan 55.5
Zambia 53.6

Major Muslim Countries of the World1
(% of population)
Country Muslim (%)
Afghanistan 99.7
Algeria 99 (official; predominantly Sunni)
Azerbaijan 97 (predominantly Shia)
Bahrain 74
Bangladesh 89
Brunei 79 (official)
Djibouti 94
Egypt 90 (predominantly Sunni)
Gambia, The 96
Gaza Strip 98-99 (predominantly Sunni)
Guinea 89
Indonesia 87
Iran 99 (official)
Iraq 95-98 (official)
Jordan 97 (official; predominantly Sunni)
Kazakhstan 70 (majority Sunni)
Kosovo 96
Kuwait 75 (official)
Kyrgyzstan 90 (majority Sunni)
Libya 97 (official; Sunni)
Malaysia** 61 (official)
Maldives Sunni Muslim (official)
Mali 94
Mauritania 100 (official)
Morocco 99 (official; Sunni)
Niger 99
Nigeria* 54
Oman 86
Pakistan 96 (official)
Saudi Arabia 100 (official)
Senegal 96
Sierra Leone 79
Somalia Sunni Muslim (official)
Sudan Sunni Muslim
Syria 87 (official)
Tajikistan 98 (predominantly Sunni)
Tunisia 99 (official, Sunni)
Turkey 99.8
Turkmenistan 89
United Arab Emirates 76 (official)
Uzbekistan 88 (mostly Sunni)
West Bank 80-85
Western Sahara Muslim
Yemen 99 (official)

*5th Largest Muslim Population in World; **21st Largest Muslim Population in World.


Countries with the Largest Muslim Populations
Rank Country Muslim Population
1 Indonesia 218,754,000
2 Pakistan 204,547,000
3 India 202,265,000
4 Bangladesh 152,837,000
5 Nigeria 97,954,000
6 Egypt 94,478,000
7 Iran 83,101,000
8 Turkey 83,072,000
9 Algeria 43,185,000
10 Iraq 41,649,000
11 Sudan 40,969,000
12 Ethiopia 39,747,000
13 Afghanistan 38,846,000
14 Morocco 37,380,000
15 Urbekistan 32,415,000
16 Saudi Arabia 31,945,000
17 Yemen 30,663,000
18 China 25,987,000
19 Niger 24,162,000
20 Tanzania 20,044,000
21 Malaysia 19,222,000
22 Mali 18,565,000
23 Syria 18,544,000
24 Russia 18,219,000
25 Somalia 16,565,000

Source: World Christian Database and World Religion Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, July 2020).


Major Roman Catholic Countries of the World1
(60% or more of population)
Country Roman Catholic (%)
Argentina 92% (less than 20% practicing)
Bolivia 77
Brazil 65
Burundi 62
Chile 67
Colombia 79
Costa Rica 72
Croatia 86
Ecuador 74
France 63-66
Guam 85
Ireland 78
Italy 80 (approximate)
Lithuania 77
Luxembourg 70
Malta >90
Mexico 83
Panama 85
Paraguay 90
Peru 60
Philippines 81
Poland 86
Portugal 81
Puerto Rico 85
Slovakia 62
Spain 69
Timor-Leste 98
Venezuela 96 (nominally)

Major Religions of the World (mid-2020)2
Christians 2,545,579,000
  Roman Catholics 1,250,319,000
  Protestants 593,660,000
  Independents* 396,991,000
  Orthodox 293,599,000
Muslims** 1,926,115,000
Hindus 1,073,619,000
Buddhists 550,493,000
Chinese folk-religionists 471,103,000
Sikhs 28,538,000
Jews 14,838,000

*This term denotes members of Christian churches and networks that regard themselves as postdenominationalist and neo-apostolic and thus independent of historic, mainstream, organized, institutionalized, confessional, denominationalist Christianity.
**Sunnis—1,717,048,000; Shiites—192,513,000.

Languages of the World

1. There are an estimated 7,117 living languages spoken in the world.
2. About 40% of the world's people speak one of the eight most common languages: Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian.
3. "Approximately 80% of the languages are spoken by less than 100,000 people; about 150 languages are spoken by less then 10 people; communities that are isolated from each other in mountainous regions often develop multiple languages; Papua New Guinea, for example, boasts about 840 separate languages."
4. Approximately 2,300 languages are spoken in Asia, 2,140 in Africa, 1,310 in the Pacific, 1,060 in the Americas, and 290 in Europe (2020).
5. "Asia has the most indigenous languages, closely followed by Africa. Combined, they account for nearly 2/3 of the world's languages."
Sources: The World Factbook (CIA); Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 23rd ed.; The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2021.

References

1. The World Factbook (CIA).
2. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2021, ©2021.
3. Demographia World Urban Areas. 16th edition. June, 2020. www.demographia.com
4. Biblical Missions: History, Principles, Practice by Roy F. Dearmore. Garland, Tex.: Rodgers Baptist Church, ©1997.
5. U.S. and World Population Clock, United States Census Bureau.


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