Population and Energy Consumption

The population problem isn't just a matter of the number of people. People consume food, fresh water, wood, minerals, and energy as we go about our daily lives. And producing food, pumping groundwater, harvesting wood, mining minerals, and burning fuel all deplete our resource base and produce pollution.

One critical indicator of resource use and environmental impact is to measure our energy consumption. When you click on one of the countries in the graph below, you'll see how that country compares to the United States in the size of its population, the amount of energy it consumes as a country, and the amount of energy consumed per person.

Why single out the U.S.A.?

Why are we focusing on the United States? Because Americans make up less than 5% of the world's population and yet consume nearly 20% of the world's energy. The average American's energy consumption is much higher than most people on the planet!   

What's the Point?

The point is that the population problem isn't just something "over there" in "those poor countries," where they may be having more children. A family in India would have to have more than 10 children to match the energy consumption of an American family with just one child! 

From a consumption perspective, the richer countries have a bigger population problem than the poorer countries!

Population and Energy Consumption by Country

Country:
click to
compare to USA
Population
Energy consumption
Hover over bar for actual data
  Percent of global total
graph scale
China 1,378 million people
23,488 million barrels of oil equivalent
India 1,329 million people
5,001 million barrels of oil equivalent
USA 324 million people
16,813 million barrels of oil equivalent
Indonesia 259 million people
1,241 million barrels of oil equivalent
Brazil 206 million people
2,175 million barrels of oil equivalent
Pakistan 203 million people
539 million barrels of oil equivalent
Bangladesh 163 million people
237 million barrels of oil equivalent
Russian Federation 144 million people
5,428 million barrels of oil equivalent
Japan 125 million people
3,366 million barrels of oil equivalent
Mexico 129 million people
1,364 million barrels of oil equivalent
Philippines 103 million people
280 million barrels of oil equivalent
Germany 83 million people
2,331 million barrels of oil equivalent
Egypt 94 million people
667million barrels of oil equivalent
Turkey 80 million people
1,008 million barrels of oil equivalent
Iran 80 million people
1,939 million barrels of oil equivalent
France 65 million people
1,707 million barrels of oil equivalent
Thailand 65 million people
937 million barrels of oil equivalent
United Kingdom 66 million people
1,394 million barrels of oil equivalent
Italy 61 million people
1,134 million barrels of oil equivalent
South Africa 56 million people
1,040 million barrels of oil equivalent
  graph scale
Percent of global total

Population data source: Population Reference Bureau; 2016 World Population Data Sheet.

Energy consumption data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration 2016.

Energy Consumption: China

  U.S.A. Ratio China
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   China
  9,158,960 1:1 9,326,410
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 1:4 1,378 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 5:7 23,448
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 3:1 17
 

 

Energy Consumption: India

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to India

  U.S.A. Ratio India
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   India
  9,158,960 3:1 2,973,190
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 1:4 1,329 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 3:1 5,001
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 14:1 3.8
 

 

Energy Consumption: Bangladesh

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Bangladesh

  U.S.A. Ratio Bangladesh
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Bangladesh
  9,158,960 68:1 133,910
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 2:1 163 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 71:1 237
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 35:1 1.5
 

 

Energy Consumption: Brazil

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Brazil

  U.S.A. Ratio Brazil
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Brazil
  9,158,960 1:1 8,456,510
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 3:2 206 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 8:1 2,175
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 5:1 10.6
 

 

Energy Consumption: Egypt

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Egypt

  U.S.A. Ratio Egypt
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Egypt
  9,158,960 9:1 995,450
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 3:1 94 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 25:1 667
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 7:1 7.1
 

 

Energy Consumption: France

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to France

  U.S.A. Ratio France
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   France
  9,158,960 17:1 545,630
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 5:1 65 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 10:1 1,707
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 2:1 26
 

 

Energy Consumption: Germany

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Germany

  U.S.A. Ratio Germany
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Germany
  9,158,960 26:1 349,520
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 4:1 83 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 7:1 2,322
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 2:1 28
 

 

Energy Consumption: Indonesia

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Indonesia

  U.S.A. Ratio Indonesia
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Indonesia
  9,158,960 5:1 1,826,440
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 3:2 259 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 14:1 1,241
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 11:1 4.8
 

 

Energy Consumption: Iran

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Iran

  U.S.A. Ratio Iran
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Iran
  9,158,960 6:1 1,636,000
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 4:1 80 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 9:1 1,939
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 2:1 24
 

 

Energy Consumption: Italy

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Italy

  U.S.A. Ratio Italy
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Italy
  9,158,960 31:1 294,020
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 5:1 61 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 15:1 1,134
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 5:2 18.6
 

 

Energy Consumption: Japan

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Japan

  U.S.A. Ratio Japan
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Japan
  9,158,960 24:1 374,744
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 2:1 125 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 5:1 3,366
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 2:1 26.9
 

 

Energy Consumption: Mexico

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Mexico

  U.S.A. Ratio Mexico
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Mexico
  9,158,960 5:1 1,923,040
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 3:1 129 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent)
16,813 12:1 1,364
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 5:1 10.6
 

 

Energy Consumption: Pakistan

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Pakistan

  U.S.A. Ratio Pakistan
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Pakistan
  9,158,960 12:1 778,720
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 3:2 203 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 31:1 539
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 19:1 2.7
 

 

Energy Consumption: Philippines

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to the Philippines

 
U.S.A.
Ratio Philippines
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Philippines
  9,158,960 31:1 298,170
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 3:1 103 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 60:1 280
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 23:1 2.3
 

 

Energy Consumption: Russian Federation

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to the Russian Federation

  U.S.A. Ratio Russian Federation
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Russian Federation
  9,158,960 1:2 16,995,800
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 2:1 144 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 3:1 5,435
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 3:2 38
 

 

Energy Consumption: South Africa

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to South Africa

  U.S.A. Ratio South Africa
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   South Africa
  9,158,960 8:1 1,219,910
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 6:1 56 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 16:1 1,040
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 3:1 18.6
 

 

Energy Consumption: Thailand

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Thailand

  U.S.A. Ratio Thailand
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Thailand
  9,158,960 18:1 511,770
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 5:1 65 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 18:1 937
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 4:1 14.4
 

 

Energy Consumption: Turkey

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to Turkey

  U.S.A. Ratio Turkey
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   Turkey
  9,158,960 12:1 770,760
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 4:1 80 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 17:1 1,008
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 5:1 12.6
 

 

Energy Consumption: United Kingdom

Energy Consumption: U.S.A. Compared to the United Kingdom

  U.S.A. Ratio United Kingdom
 
Land Area:
(km2)
  USA   United Kingdom
  9,158,960 38:1 241,590
 
Population:
(2016)
   
  324 million 5:1 66 million
 
Energy Consumption:
(million barrels
of oil equivalent per year)
 
  16,813 12:1 1,394
 
Energy Per Capita:
(barrels of oil
equivalent per person per year)
 
  51.9 5:2 21.1