In 1950 the world population was 2.5 billion. The population doubled to 5 billion in 1987.What was the annual growth rate of the world population from 1950 to 1987?

Expert Answers
lfryerda eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For an exponential growth, we can have the population modelled by the function

`A=A_0(1+r)^t`  where `A_0` is the initial population, `r` is the growth rate, `t` is the time difference and `A` is the final population.

Now we just substitute all the numbers for the model, then solve for `r` to get the growth rate of the world population.

After substitution we get

`5=2.5(1+r)^{1987-1950}`   divide both sides by 2.5 and subtract years

`2=(1+r)^37`   take 37th root

`2^{1/37}=1+r`   solve for r


`r approx 0.0189 = 1.89%`

The annual growth rate of the population was 1.89%.