The Millenium   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geneology

How many grandparents do you have? Michael J. Fox had a couple when he went back to the future, the second time. If you went back in time into the 1830's to find your grandparents, you'd have dozens of grandparents to look up. Even with a conservative estimate of a new generation born every 30 years, the number of your grandparents quickly escalates as you go backwards. You have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great-great grandparents, and so forth. It gets kind of scary -- here's a list, estimating that you had 4 grandparents alive in 1950, and a new generation being born every 30 years:

Year -- Number of Grandparents

1950 4

1920 8

1890 16

1860 32

1830 64

1800 128

1770 256

1740 512

1710 1024

1680 2048

1650 4096

1620 8192

1590 16,284

1560 32,568

1530 65,136

1500 130,272

1470 260,544

1440 521,088

1410 1,042,176

1380 2,084,352

1350 4,168,704

1320 8,337,408

1290 16,674,816

1260 33,349,632

1230 66,699,264

1200 133,398,528

1170 266,797,056

1140 533,594,112

1110 1,067,188,224, aka 1.06 billion

1080 2,134,376,448, aka 2.1 billion

1050 4,268,752,896, aka 4.2 billion

1020 8,537,505,792, aka 8.5 billion

So in the year 1020, you would have over 8 billion grandparents to look up. Of course there weren't even close to being 8 billion people in the world in 1020. So either everyone was your grandparent, or we are the result of lots of inbreeding. Also remember that your current surname comes from only one of those people.

Estimates of world population by year is provided below, according to the United Nations, Population Division:

2000 -- 6 billion

1999 -- 5.98 billion

1990 -- 5.27 billion

1980 -- 4.44 billion

1970 -- 3.7 billion

1960 -- 3.02 billion

1950 -- 2.52 billion

1940 -- 2.30 billion

1930 -- 2.07 billion

1920 -- 1.86 billion

1910 -- 1.75 billion

1900 -- 1.65 billion

1850 -- 1.26 billion

1800 -- 980 million

1750 -- 790 million

1500 -- 500 million

1250 -- 400 million

1000 -- 300 million