Some Population Statistics to Chew On

In 1912, the US population reached 100,000,000 citizens.

52 years later, in 1967, the nation’s 200,000,000th citizen was born in Atlanta to Chinese-American parents.

On October 16th, 2006 — 39 years later — the United States expects citizen number 300,000,000 to be born. Based on projections, it is expected that this addition to the population will be an Hispanic child from Los Angeles.

I sometimes teach a unit on overpopulation to my class, depending on the grade I have that year. This will make an interesting real-life teaching moment.

As for where I stand on this…I confess to not having done more research on this issue. I know that the global population in toto is commonly believed to be rising steadily. I also know that many believe that it is not overpopulation that is the problem we face.

It’s underpopulation that may be the issue, at least for the rest of the world. The United States may be an exception to that: we are currently the fastest-growing industrial nation in the world, and will soon be reaching population numbers to rival China and India. This even as outsourcing and other job issues significantly reduce our ability to employ these new people. Compound this with the fact that this country has the highest quality health care in the world, so we are living longer and longer, reducing the turnover rate. (I refer to this as the bathtub faucet-and-drain problem – if the water is rushing into the tub faster than the drain can remove it, what will eventually happen? No doubt others have already used this metaphor because it is so obvious, but my kids have generally not encountered it before, so I look terribly erudite and nerdy).

I think about this in the same context I think about everything nowadays…Michael. What kind of a world is he going to grow up into? Certainly this is only one of many issues that cause me anxiety at 3 AM, thinking about his future, but it is still a concern.

Anyway…that’s all for now.

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~ by Rob Parrilla on October 8, 2006.

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