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First Countries to Reach 5 Million People

Name the modern-day countries whose current territory reached a population of 5 million people the earliest.
Based mostly on this map
Numbers should be considered crude estimates
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 7, 2017
First submittedSeptember 6, 2017
Times taken14,367
Rating4.74
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Year
Country
2000 B.C.
China
2000 B.C.
India
200 B.C.
Turkey
100 B.C.
Italy
1 AD
France
200
Spain
400
Iran
Year
Country
600
Bangladesh
600
Japan
800
Mexico
1000
Indonesia
1100
Germany
1100
Pakistan
1200
Nigeria
Year
Country
1200
Russia
1300
Peru
1400
D.R. Congo
1600
Egypt
1600
Poland
1600
United Kingdom
+13
level ∞
Sep 6, 2017
Egypt is a weird case. Their population hovered in the 3-4 million range for over a thousand years. Its possible that they hit 5 million at some point B.C.
+2
level 67
Mar 6, 2018
As an Egyptian, I was under the impression that Egypt exceeded 10 million at some point during the height of the dynastic period. Perhaps I am influenced by old wives' tales and the populist media in my country?
+4
level 77
Mar 6, 2018
Ancient population figures vary wildly and are extremely hard to pin down. Primary sources almost always exaggerate, sometimes by orders of magnitude, making ancient demography a very inexact science.
+7
level 44
Mar 7, 2018
Mo Salah, Mo Salah, Mo Salah...running down the wing
+1
level 50
Aug 25, 2019
Nobody really thought back then to keep count of people, so any census data is inaccurate. As long as the population was stable, the civilisation would flourish.
+2
level 66
Sep 6, 2017
On the basis of your source, I am pretty sure Indonesia hits the 5 million mark around 1000 AD.
+2
level ∞
Sep 6, 2017
Fixed, thanks.
+1
level 64
Sep 6, 2017
According to wikipedia the whole Holy Roman Empire had 5 million at about 1200. But probably only a third of its population was then living in modern German territory. So if there has not been a plague between 1100 and 1200, wikipedia and your source are far from matching. Just said.
+17
level ∞
Sep 6, 2017
It's almost like they didn't have a reliable census back then.
+1
level 73
Dec 7, 2017
bazinga!

That is a very interesting map you've used to source the data
+2
level 80
Sep 6, 2017
I'm surprised that Indonesia didn't make the grade. All those people didn't just go there from elsewhere since 1600, did they?
+1
level 80
Sep 6, 2017
And now that I've taken the quiz "Most populous countries in 1800 AD" which claims that Indonesia had 16m people in 1800 AD, while this quiz claims it had fewer than 5m in 1600 AD - either there's big inconsistency here or that's a LOT of immigration (or intensive sex) in just 200 years!
+1
level ∞
Sep 6, 2017
Obvious mistake, now fixed. No intensive anything required. :)
+2
level 63
Sep 7, 2017
Actually it's not that big of a leap... if you have 2 or more kids with someone else and they do too, and everyone survives for around 50, 60 years, and people are also immigrating there, then it may happen in two or three generations. I can't check the math today because my brain refuses to work properly.
+1
level 67
Sep 8, 2017
Indonesia has 261 million now .... a rise of 245 million in 200+ years..... there is a lot of something going on!
+6
level 62
Sep 10, 2017
And they're enjoying it.
+1
level 61
Sep 6, 2017
Wow. Everyone made 20/20 including myself. It's absurd.
+1
level 77
Sep 7, 2017
Pretty generous with the time limit. Easy to play process of elimination
+1
level ∞
Sep 8, 2017
Changed it to 3 minutes
+1
level 54
Sep 19, 2017
Pakistan in 1100..!! And Bangladesh in 600s ..:P
+1
level 38
Mar 6, 2018
Bangladesh did not achieve independence until 1971
+5
level 69
Mar 6, 2018
and it did not achieve modern-day status until today.
+1
level 77
Mar 6, 2018
What's modern-day status?
+1
level 49
Mar 6, 2018
20/20... 1 sec left! That's a bloody one.
+1
level 59
Mar 6, 2018
India divided as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1900s. There was no such country as Pakistan and Bangladesh before 1947.
+2
level 58
Mar 7, 2018
Yes, but the quiz is asking for the modern-day countries whose territory first reached 5 million people in history. For example, the area now known as Bangladesh first reached 5 million people in 600, even though it was not an independent country at that point.
+2
level 77
Mar 7, 2018
There's only one country on this entire list that was a country on the date given (the United Kingdom). There was a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1600. There was a dynastic federation called "Rus" (centered in Kiev, Ukraine) in 1200. None of the others even come close.