Hopkins Academy

Approaching 7 Billion

In Features on March 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Jeremiah Hyslip ’14

The population of the world is increasing at a rapid pace.  In fact, according to the U.S. census bureau, 2.4 people are born every second. That’s 145 people per minute, 8,726 people every hour, 209,416 people every day, 6,369,729 people per month, and 76,436,750 people per year. At this rate the world population will reach 7 billion sometime in mid 2012.  Now,  in the scheme of things 7 billion might not be as much as you actually think though.  If I were to throw a party and invited everyone in the world, I would only need a space the size of the entire city of Los Angeles.  But this is a party!  So, let’s give everyone six square feet.  If I did that I would need about 1,500 square miles.  To fit everyone in I could use Juneau Icefield, Alaska; the city of Multan, Pakistan; the emirate of Dubai; the total land area of all 118 islands of French Polynesia; or even the entire state of Rhode Island.  On another note, if someone were to take a picture of all the people on Earth standing in Los Angeles, it would take the photographer about an hour to say “smile” in the 6,900 languages spoken. So let’s think rationally. How big is 7 billion? Is it too big, or is it just right?


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