World population in the year 2000 was 6.09 billion, according to recent estimates by the United Nations (UN 2005). This number is almost 410 million lower than the year 2000-estimate that the UN expected in 1973. The UN has computed forecasts for the population of the world since the 1950s. Figure 9.1 shows that the calculations made in the 1980s were much closer to the current estimate than those published around 1990. Subsequent forecasts for the world population in 2000 show an irregular pattern: apparently, in 1973 and around 1990 it was rather difficult to predict world population size and much less so in the mid-1980s.
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