This Sunday, July 11, is World Population Day—an event established in 1989 by the United Nations to raise awareness of global population issues. This year, the emphasis is on the 2010 World Population and Housing Census Programme and the importance of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data in a way that supports good health and social policy development.

In the past few months, we’ve added a variety of international data sets to Wolfram|Alpha, such as data on food consumption and worldwide health indicators. But Wolfram|Alpha launched with an enormous collection of global socioeconomic data, much of it from the UN and other authoritative repositories of international statistics, and we’ve continued to expand and curate that collection.

As we’ve said before, we’re committed to “democratizing data”—to making it easier for everyone to access and understand the wealth of important data produced by a multitude of sources. For good examples of our own ability to analyze and disseminate relevant socioeconomic data, try some of the following queries pertaining to topics from past and present World Population Days:

We’ll soon be introducing some new functionality that will give “power users” the ability to do more advanced analysis and comparison of properties between groups of countries, and in other knowledge domains. And as always, if you’d like to see additional data in Wolfram|Alpha, please send us your suggestions.

PS: If you’re interested in the absolute latest information on world population, try asking Wolfram|Alpha for the current world population. Reload that page in your browser a few times and see how fast that number is going up!

7 Comments

What about recreating the graphics Hans Rosling used in his (high quality) TED talk on population growth?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTznEIZRkLg

Posted by Ramon July 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm Reply

My vote is for accelerating the poverty, literacy, and life expectancy in the down, up, and up directions respectively.

Posted by Michael July 12, 2010 at 4:26 am Reply

7-12-10 AM: The searches for # All countries’ population in 1900 or All countries’ population in 2050 yield no results. Glitch in the system, perhaps? Nor can I see poverty in all countries. I love to read your blog to discover even more ideas for searches. This knowledge engine is changing the face of classrooms around the world – or at least it SHOULD.

Posted by Jim Gates July 12, 2010 at 10:31 am Reply

Later the same AM: Seems to be working, now. It WAS a glitch. Fascinating results. Now to try to form the right query to compare usable farmland in 1900 to the estimate for 2050.

Posted by Jim Gates July 12, 2010 at 10:42 am Reply

@Jim Gates: This is the closest I could find: arable land area {1900,2050}

Posted by Michael July 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm Reply

Nice post,
I would like to take part in challenging world population with increasing poverty to educate and healthy.
Please tell me, what is the most important reason for getting good population data?

Posted by Data Recovery July 13, 2010 at 5:21 am Reply
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