How Many People Died in Noah’s Flood?

Is there any way to know how many people were on the earth at the time of the Great Flood of Genesis?
By Wayne Jackson | Christian Courier

Do we have any idea about how many people there were on earth at the time of the flood?

The Genesis narrative indicates that Adam and Eve were charged with the responsibility of multiplying and filling the earth (Gen. 1:28).

After some ten generations of human history, a span of at least 1,656 years had passed. This figure is based on the biblical genealogical records.

Moses recorded that “the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11, 13). This suggests an extensive population already.

The language in the Genesis record indicates a tremendously rapid expansion. This conclusion is further supported by the fact that the flood was designed to destroy living creatures of the entire globe (Gen. 7:19, 22).

Based upon a rather conservative rate of human reproduction, in 1961 John Whitcomb and Henry Morris estimated that the population of the earth at the time of the flood was approximately one billion people (1961).

However, when Henry Morris wrote his book, The Genesis Record, in 1976, he opined that the earth’s population at the time of the deluge was in the neighborhood of seven billion (144). Obviously he somewhat expanded the figures on which the earlier estimate had been based.

We do not precisely know, of course, but the figure must have been significant.

  • Morris, Henry. 1976. The Genesis Record. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
  • Whitcomb, John and Henry Morris. 1961. The Genesis Flood. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.