A visual look at the world population growth. he world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, when it stood at around 370 million. The highest rates of growth – global population increases above 1.8% per year – were seen briefly during the 1950s, and for a longer period during the 1960s and 1970s. The growth rate peaked at 2.2% in 1963, then declined to below 1.1% by 2012. Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 138 million, and are now expected to remain essentially constant at their 2011 level of 134 million, while deaths number 56 million per year, and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040.