February 15, 2010

I am 3,996,308,755 people old

According to UN estimates, global population is expected to increase from 6.9 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050. Roughly the same increase in population as since I was born in 1956. I find it hard to relate to these figures as they feel rather abstract but when juxtaposed against life events, as in the chart below, they seem much more concrete. Using UN population estimates, I was born when the world population was about 2,834,078,230 people. With the current world population estimate at 6,830,386,985, that makes me now about 3,996,308,755 people old.


  1. I have always attributed population growth to climate change. I believe it is the main source, but that people believe it is immoral to say it. It's like they think if that were true there would be no ethical solution.
    Christine Grenier CAS-physics, 2001

  2. Christine, Good point and agree. Population growth is at the root of many of the challenges we face. It will have an increasing effect in the future as aging populations in the developed countries decline, as is already happening in RUssia, Eastern/Central Europe, Italy and Spain and population growth in greatest in Asia and the Equatorial countries that have already have great food and water supply challenges. You will read more about mass migration in the future and the resulting geopolitical tensions.