Answer: yes, by a factor of about 15 to 1. 108 billion or so people have been born since 50,000 BC; 7 billion are alive today.
This is one of those questions that I’m surprised to even see asked. The BBC article is based on estimates from the Population Reference Bureau; if you trace them back you find they come from an article called How many people have ever lived on earth?, by Carl Haub, the PRB’s chief demographer. As far as I can tell the estimate just comes from simple arithmetic on historical estimates of populations and birth rates. The estimate goes by taking the birth rate times the population for each year from 50,000 BC to the present, and adding those up. That is, however, a lot of arithmetic and requires a lot of guesswork.
Is there some quick way to see that there have been at least fourteen billion human births since the beginning of time, and therefore there are more people dead than alive?