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There are 2.77 times more people in the world today than when I was born in 1952. Almost 3X as many—7.3 billion in 2012—as when I added one more to the total. To me this is mind-boggling.

The U.S. population in 1952 stood at approximately 157.55 million. Today US population stands at 313.1 million, just 2 million shy of 2X as many people as when I was born.

The U.S. population tripled during the 20th Century. This is a growth rate of 1.3%. The average growth rate among countries of the world is 1.17%, though as an average it doesn’t say much because there are countries as high as Liberia at 4.5%, meaning its population more than doubles every 20 years. Or there are countries as low as the Cook Islands at -2.23%.

Along with Africa some of the fastest growing countries of the world are in the Middle East and North Africa, Arab, Persian, and Turkish Muslim-majority countries. Israel stands at 1.66% population growth rate. The U.S. is getting older month by month while the Middle East is getting younger.

Europe is actually declining in population rate of growth, even with immigration. This stresses European countries’ economies. In the U.S. people are living longer with fewer youth coming into the workforce.

Some 80% of ours and of world population live in urban areas and some 80% live near coastlines. We are a city people by the sea.

Demographics is more interesting than it first appears. There’s much more in the statistics. For example, in the U.S. 45% of youth under 5 years are children of minorities. The U.S. continues to “brown.” In the Middle East there’s more than 100 million under the age of 16 years. That’s one-third the population of the U.S.

Population is a fancy word for people. There are 7.3 billion of us in the world and counting, each one made in the image of God. Each one is just as temporally and eternally significant as I am.

People one and all are not simply animate life forms. With numbers like 7.3 billion, which no one can really understand, it’s easy to forget that. Each one matters. That’s what makes demographics all the more mind-boggling.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

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