It’s a historic day: our site is up!

It’s a historic day: our site is up!


Antoine Bello · October 6, 2022

We were initially shooting for September but several issues arose during the summer, some mundane (hosting, mirroring…), some more substantial such as last-minute reforms of the way we store dates and places. When it recently became obvious that we wouldn’t be able to launch soon with all the bells and whistles we had in mind, we decided to ship a barebones version that would give the world a first glimpse of what we’re trying to accomplish. This initial version, online since October 5, contains only US data, which we’re adding to the tune of 20-30 million records a day. At the moment, records can be viewed but not edited. Plenty of stats are already available though, from the most popular first names to the age pyramid to the average completion of our records (100 means a full record, we currently stand at 60). So what are these other features in the hopper and when can you expect to see them?

  • more countries will be added, starting with (but not limited to) Canada, the United Kingdom, and France.

  • all records will be editable, a la wikipedia. No account will be necessary.

  • registered users will be able to create records.

  • registered users will be able to tag records. Categories will include: “Me”, “Family”, “Friends”, and “Others”.

  • users not finding a record will be able to broaden their search to sound-like names and countries speaking the same language.

  • after confirming their identity, a user will be able to request their record to be taken down, in compliance with GDPR rules.

We will introduce the new features gradually, hopefully by the end of the year. In the meantime, you’ll probably notice some bugs on the site. Be kind enough to report them here. We’re excited and proud to present this first glimpse of what the Population Project can be. Imagine our homepage with 4 billion records, 200+ countries covered and thousands of edits a day. It’s our vision, we hope it becomes yours.