Population Control

Today the 7 billionth baby was born in the Philippines or in Russia or Nigeria, or possibly India. Goodness that’s a lot of people.

The truth is it’s just an estimate, and no-one knows exactly how many people are in the world. The UN estimates that the 7 billionth person was born today, but given that census data inevitably contains some inaccuracies and some countries such as Afghanistan and Lebanon have not held a census in decades that estimate is a bit suspect.

Other experts have chimed in with other statistics – if all 7 billion people got together we’d fit into the Los Angeles city limits, there’s still enough food for the current population – in fact one expert reckons we’re good for at least another two million people.

What was astonishing for me is that I could remember when the 6 billionth child was born – which turns out to be just 12 years ago. Then for more fun I found a tool on the BBC site to calculate my number – where I stand in the 7 million.

How many people were alive when you were born? (No this is not my real birthdate – I’m not an idiot)

photo from National library NZ on the commons, via flickr