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Human Resource 3,766,707,775
October 27, 2011 10:07 AM   Subscribe

What's your global ranking?

The world's population is expected to hit seven billion in the next few weeks. After growing very slowly for most of human history, the number of people on Earth has more than doubled in the last 50 years. Where do you fit into this story of human life?
posted by TangerineGurl (67 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
When you were born, you were the:
3,566,937,710th


GET OFF MY LAWN!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:08 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also http://www.7billionandme.org/ (original source)
posted by TangerineGurl at 10:09 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Checking in as human #79,744,561,324! Now to go get it tattooed on the bottom of my foot for records-keeping purposes...
posted by phunniemee at 10:10 AM on October 27, 2011


3,566,937,710th
GET OFF MY LAWN!
posted by Cool Papa Bell


No, you get off MY lawn...!

2,483,652,210

this is, then, my global user number?
posted by HuronBob at 10:12 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


3,207,862,880

I cannot be older than someone named "Papa." I can not.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:12 AM on October 27, 2011


"Checking in as human #79,744,561,324! Now to go get it tattooed on the bottom of my foot for records-keeping purposes..."

WAIT! Make it into a barcode first!
posted by TangerineGurl at 10:14 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh, I always wanted to know how many people have lived on this planet since the beginning of time. Was even going to make an AskMe posting with this question.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:19 AM on October 27, 2011


Whoa! The US has about 1 net immigrant for every 4 births! That's INSANELY AWESOME, I would have guessed like 1 per 100!
posted by miyabo at 10:19 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Out of all the people that ever were, almost all* of them are dead.


—Louis CK

*By my quick math, only about 8.5% of the people that ever were are currently alive.
posted by wcfields at 10:21 AM on October 27, 2011


Fascinating

3,383,541,159 and the number didn't change if I put Finland (where I lived till August) or Singapore (where I'm claiming I live in though bla bla bla limbo) - then why are they asking that question?

looks at Cool Bell's lawn
posted by infini at 10:22 AM on October 27, 2011


Yay! My Birth Enumeration And Serial Taxonomy number is 79715423030! Nice round number.
posted by Iridic at 10:23 AM on October 27, 2011


I cannot be older than someone named "Papa." I can not.

If it makes you feel better, the real Cool Papa Bell was the 1,548,717,751st person alive (give or take a few).
posted by burnmp3s at 10:24 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here I am, Mister #3,973,539,118 AKA #78,279,056,756. Suck it, haters.
posted by grubi at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2011


I'll buy a beer an Ensure, for anyone with a number lower than mine.
posted by HuronBob at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2011


When you were born, you were the: 2,962,097,442nd. ~3.5 billion of you get off my lawn. The rest get tea and cookies.
posted by Splunge at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Battle for resources: It is estimated that your group of the richest countries consumes double the resources used by the rest of the world. The UN estimates that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.

Pfff, but that's in the unimaginably far-flung future! 18 years from now!
posted by DU at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It doesn't work for me (chrome). I enter birth date, then nothing on the page seems to work or go anywhere or do anything.
posted by yesster at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2011


I know this is BBC News, but everytime I see something like this I instinctively think "more spam and junk mail".

So I'll pick 3,995,211,467.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:26 AM on October 27, 2011


It's just a real nice feeling to know I am one of the top 80 billion people ever.
posted by grubi at 10:28 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


4,937,876,756. I guess it's nice to know only 2 billion people have been born after me. Makes me feel younger, you know?
posted by Memo at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2011


So they were advocating "zero population growth" back in the 70's right? Obviously that hasn't worked, so is the world worse off now with twice as many people?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2011


3,090,900,407...so the population has more than doubled during my tenure. That's sobering shit, there.
posted by VicNebulous at 10:33 AM on October 27, 2011


It doesn't work for me (chrome). I enter birth date, then nothing on the page seems to work or go anywhere or do anything.

I had the same problem, until I realized I'm a dumb American and I accidentally typed in "10/29/1978" not realizing they go the more reasonable route of "29/10/1978".

Also.. Human Number 4,323,292,096th / 78,838,934,199th checking in. I'm on your lawns, bein' loud and disrespectful of my elders.
posted by revmitcz at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2011


3,090,900,407...so the population has more than doubled during my tenure. That's sobering shit, there.

Seriously. You've got a lot of explaining to do.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:35 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


3,952,291,340.

Dang. I was hoping for 3,952,291,350.
posted by Specklet at 10:35 AM on October 27, 2011


Aught aught aught, aught aught, aught aught aught... two. Damn you, Roosevelt!
posted by Flunkie at 10:35 AM on October 27, 2011


3,177,931,916th

I'm old, I am old, I shall wear my trousers rolled.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2011


Did anyone get a cool one like 3,456,789,012? Or perhaps 4,000,000,666?
posted by revmitcz at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2011


You may call me Mr 4,589,589,617, thankyouverymuch!
posted by the cydonian at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2011


5,139,714,675

I feel so youthful!

My brother, born 6 years after me, is 5,669,522,531st. 500,000,000 people in 6 years - that's pretty staggering.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:47 AM on October 27, 2011


Unless I was the only person born on my date of birth, this BBC 'calculation' is silly.
posted by normy at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2011


2,050,105,776 people have died since you were born

I'M SORRY!!!!
posted by mittens at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not really clear to me what the larger number means. It says "since history began", but that was only, what, 7000 years ago or whatever.

Then if you click on "how we calculated this", it says that it's based on the theories of someone who estimated populations since about 50,000 BC, plus some other estimates from the UN. That's long before "history began".

But it's also much more recent than homo sapiens sapiens came about (200,000 years ago or so), and that in turn is much more recent than homo sapiens (maybe half a million years), which in turn is much more recent than homo (two, two and a half million).

So I'm confused by what the larger number supposedly means.
posted by Flunkie at 10:53 AM on October 27, 2011


The UNFPA & SAP have also created this nifty tool to look at population data.
posted by sswiller at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2011


Earliest date it lets me enter is 01-01-1910, this site is totally first-1,744,890,692ist
posted by IanMorr at 10:56 AM on October 27, 2011


Flunkie: The Carl Haub link in the explanation has more detail as well as a disclaimer that it is a highly speculative exercise, but basically the larger number pegs the appearance of homo sapiens at 50,000 BC.
posted by IanMorr at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2011


2,785,441,573rd - old enough to know better.

My father outlived the current US Male life expectancy by 15 years, while my mother fell short of hers by about as much (as of the date she died per this chart). When I suffered CHF nine years ago with no clear cause, the 'goal' was surviving over five years, so anything about 'life expectancy' just reminds me of my own mortality. If I do make it to 75 in 2030, I'll be sharing the planet with 8.3 billion others. They can Occupy my lawn all they want, but I only have concrete.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:07 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The UN estimates that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.

Like, holy shit.

Did you know? People in your area have, on average, more than one mobile phone subscription per person.

Hmm...I wonder if this sort of thing could be part of the problem...
posted by 3FLryan at 11:39 AM on October 27, 2011


In richer economies, although death rates are also low, widely-available birth control and a desire for smaller families keep birth rates subdued. Fewer babies ensures populations level off or even decline. Moldova, although poor by European standards, has seen its population drop mainly because of emigration.

I like how this bit of text from the 'Fastest Shrinking Country' info block starts with what looks like really great information, then casts it all aside and gives a completely different reason for this country's declining population.
posted by LoudMusic at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


These overly precise numbers are kind of ridiculous. You can only enter your date of birth by date, not by the exact time (which I don't know anyway). They should really give you a range, or something.
*By my quick math, only about 8.5% of the people that ever were are currently alive.
Uh, care to share your work? this site says its about 12%. The global population was much, much lower throughout most of our history.
Hmm...I wonder if this sort of thing could be part of the problem...
It's amazing how people talk about mobile phones and the internet as somehow causing all our problems, when, if you look at what actually uses energy and carbon it's 20th century technology like cars, air conditioning and so on. Computers and the internet are way down on the list.

If you look at poor countries, resource use is very low per capita, yet many people have cellphones. It doesn't drive up resource consumption very much.
posted by delmoi at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2011


From http://www.7billionandme.org

"On the same day you were born 332,584 [others] were born throughout the world"

I wonder how many of them are still alive. And where they are now. How many are guys, how many are girls. If they speak my language or care about the things I care about. Are they in any way similar to me? Would I like them? If given the opportunity to meet in a big group which ones would attend, and would we all get along?

I know some of you have met, even know personally, someone who shares your birthday. But what about the exact date? Are you friends with them? Does sharing a birth date affect your relationship with that person?
posted by LoudMusic at 11:56 AM on October 27, 2011


It's amazing how people talk about mobile phones and the internet as somehow causing all our problems, when, if you look at what actually uses energy and carbon it's 20th century technology like cars, air conditioning and so on. Computers and the internet are way down on the list.

I wasn't saying "too many mobile phones" is the problem, though I realize without clarification many would read it that way. I'm saying it's a symptom.

The "sort of thing" I see as part of the problem is "unnecessarily consuming too much stuff thereby using way too many resources".

"Sure, why not have two mobile phones? Sure, why not have two cars? Sure, why not leave the lights on? I don't want to think about it; if I have the money to do it and it might be a bit of a convenience, why not?"

For a person, either there is an indispensable reason to have more than one mobile phone, or the above mindset is present. I would guess the latter is true for >50% of these people.
posted by 3FLryan at 12:20 PM on October 27, 2011


*By my quick math, only about 8.5% of the people that ever were are currently alive.

Uh, care to share your work? this site says its about 12%.


12 percent of all people have never died.
12 percent of all people may be immortal.
There is a 12 percent chance that I am immortal.

Whenever you experience a particularly difficult situation, always remember that there is a 12 percent chance that you are immortal.
posted by flarbuse at 12:22 PM on October 27, 2011


Math question! Assuming the current population growth stays consistent, at what point will there be more people alive than dead?

I often feel like population growth is really the single biggest problem humanity is going to face in our lifetime. Its a problem so profoundly huge that we, as a species, lack the ability to even recognize it as a problem - or, if we do, its so completely overwhelming that we all subconsciously acknowledge that we can't do anything about it.

The ways to address the problem are incredibly personal. Asking people to stop having children (or to have fewer children) comes across as an enormous infringement on rights, even if its one of the only ways to avoid the entire population of the planet basically being fucked.

The problem, of course, is that people are still having sex.

Also, groups like those Quiver-Full psychopaths are basically going to help make things worse for everyone in the long run.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:14 PM on October 27, 2011


When I was a little girl, one of the things I told people I was going to do when I grew up was to shake the hand of every person in the world. Now at 43, it occurs to me I may have left off getting started a bit too long.
posted by thebrokedown at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2011


I was hoping for 3,141,592,654
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:28 PM on October 27, 2011


Here is how you know you have passed your peak:

2,784,738,456 people were alive when you were born.
2,801,696,869 people have died since you were born.

from: http://www.7billionandme.org

Yep, more people have died in my lifetime than existed when I was born. Its all borrowed time from here on out.
posted by rtimmel at 1:45 PM on October 27, 2011


Math question! Assuming the current population growth stays consistent, at what point will there be more people alive than dead?
Assuming the birth rate and death rate remain the same, as a percentage of current population:

Roughly the year 2345, at which point there would be something like 280 billion people alive (and 280 billion people dead).

Disclaimer: I could've easily screwed something up.
posted by Flunkie at 2:10 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just shy of 3 billion. That means approximately one billion more people have been born than were alive when I was born. Jesus Christ, that's scary. Or it would be if it was likely to affect the remaining 20-30 years I've probably got left. No kids to worry about, so fuck it. If you all want to keep breeding like mindless genetic and hormonal slaves, you go for it. I don't give a shit any more.
posted by Decani at 3:59 PM on October 27, 2011


I know some of you have met, even know personally, someone who shares your birthday. But what about the exact date? Are you friends with them? Does sharing a birth date affect your relationship with that person?

I knew one in high school. Didn't care for him.
posted by goethean at 4:03 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love Moldova.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:28 PM on October 27, 2011


In base 42 billion, I am number one.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:18 PM on October 27, 2011


3,088,395,474
posted by govtdrone at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2011


I'm number 2,950,698,419
posted by mike3k at 6:12 PM on October 27, 2011




2,241,639,029th
posted by notreally at 6:22 PM on October 27, 2011


When I was born, I was the youngest person alive on Earth. Feel special now.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 6:59 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just shy of 3 billion. That means approximately one billion more people have been born than were alive when I was born. Jesus Christ, that's scary.

What' so scary? 50, 100 billion, yeah, wow. 7? Pshaw.

What are you scared of? Irrelevance? Insignificance? Extinction? War? Disease?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:07 PM on October 27, 2011


Roughly the year 2345, at which point there would be something like 280 billion people alive (and 280 billion people dead).

280 billion would be very impressive. Good luck, y'all.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:09 PM on October 27, 2011


I know some of you have met, even know personally, someone who shares your birthday. But what about the exact date? Are you friends with them? Does sharing a birth date affect your relationship with that person?

I had such a friend for 15 years or so. I don't think the birthdate thing was significant.
posted by stebulus at 9:53 PM on October 27, 2011


3,007,231,960 at least that's what I'm told.
posted by pianomover at 11:42 PM on October 27, 2011


That population graph at the bottom makes reincarnation seem a bit problematic, unless the devas manage to balance things out across all of human history or something. Until about 1750 you could argue that the same people were being born again and again, but so many people are alive now that it throws the whole cycle off.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:55 AM on October 28, 2011


My two-year-old son is 6,666,666,666. How cute!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:04 AM on October 28, 2011


Alas, they don't have my country listed.
posted by Poagao at 2:42 AM on October 28, 2011


That population graph at the bottom makes reincarnation seem a bit problematic, unless the devas manage to balance things out across all of human history or something. Until about 1750 you could argue that the same people were being born again and again, but so many people are alive now that it throws the whole cycle off.
I don't believe in reincarnation, but:

I don't see any reason why reincarnation has to be human-to-human (and in fact at least some of the major traditions that believe in reincarnation explicitly do not limit it to human-to-human). Our population is completely insignificant compared to the population of living beings; it seems entirely possible that the population of living beings is constant, and has been for a long, long time. Perhaps there are more people now than there were before because the general tendency for a living being is to progress towards Buddha nature.

Also, even if reincarnation has to be human-to-human, I suppose it's possible that souls are getting split, so that one person gets reincarnated as more than one person (simultaneously). This could explain why so many people claim to be reincarnated from, say, Napoleon.

Could even be that the reason Napoleon's soul got split into so many souls is that he had such a huge effect on the world (relative to most other people), and perhaps this increased his quantity of underlying soul stuff, enabling his soul to be split up into multiple people with each of them still having a sufficient share of underlying soul stuff. Whatever that means.
posted by Flunkie at 4:56 AM on October 28, 2011


That population graph at the bottom makes reincarnation seem a bit problematic...

Unless you can be reincarnated as someone living at the same time as you are.
posted by goethean at 8:09 AM on October 28, 2011


Unless you can be reincarnated as someone living at the same time as you are.

We might as well take this to its logical conclusion: every single person that's ever lived is an manifestation of a single soul particle oscillating back and forth through time.
posted by Iridic at 9:39 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


We might as well take this to its logical conclusion: every single person that's ever lived is an manifestation of a single soul particle oscillating back and forth through time.

Isn't that the essence of the Big Bang, i.e. the "primeval atom"?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:23 AM on October 28, 2011


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