The article I looked at claims that despite popular opinion, the global population is not growing exponentially, but rather is growing in a straight line. Exponential growth is described as the growth rate of the population, as a fraction of the population’s size, and is constant. Therefore, if a population has a growth rate of 2%, and it remains 2% as the population gets bigger, it’s growing exponentially. Despite the starting points of two quantities, the one quantity that grows exponentially will become larger than one growing linearly. For the United States, the population growth over the past half century has been very close to a straight line, the R2 is 0.9956.
Essentially, it seems as if people confuse the words exponentially and increasingly when talking about population growth. The graph shown demonstrates linear growth, and how exponential growth occurs only when the percentage growth rate remains constant as the population gets bigger.