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The Lake News Online
  • Guest column: World’s population grows by the second

  • The "population clock" at the United State Census Bureau estimates the number in our nation at 317,295,153.
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  • The "population clock" at the United State Census Bureau estimates the number in our nation at 317,295,153.
    Actually, it lists us at 317,295,154. Just in the time it took for that statistic to settle into your mind, we've gone up a guy to 317,295,155. Before you reach the end of this paragraph, we probably will have grown to an estimated 317,295,156 people. And there will be many more of us by the time you read this.
    According to a graphic accompanying the clock, there is one birth in the nation every 8 seconds. There is one death every 12 seconds, but the dearly departed isn't missed as much — speaking only statistically — because there is one "international migrant" coming into the country every 40 seconds.
    So our "net gain" in population in the United States is one person every 16 seconds.
    I didn't do the math to confirm that statistic, but I still feel a little more crowded since the moment I began writing about our population growth. This population, by the way, now is up to 317,295,187 people and counting rather quickly.
    The world population — estimated by the World Population Clock — grows even faster. Right now, it's listed as 7,132,776,124, I mean 7,132,776,127, no it's 7,132,776,129, wait it's 7,132,776,131, and now it's 7,132,776,134, oh never mind.
    Based on the spinning digits of the clock, the world population seems to be increasing by two or three people every second or so.
    The bulk of the world population is in China, which has 1,349,585,838 people according to the Census Bureau statistics — I'm sure many more by now. India was listed at 1,241,800,359 people. The United States, in third place according to this measure of elbow room, was listed at 316,668,567 whenever the statistic was placed on the Census website, but the U.S. Population Clock has grown, at this writing, to 317, 295,218. My we're productive.
    This burgeoning population has been taking place for years, according to the Census Bureau. On July 4, 2012, the U.S. population was set at 313,933,954. In less than a year and a half, it has grown to 317,295,228, or, as the clock now shows, 317,295,229.
    No wonder it's so difficult to find a decent parking place.
    "The U.S. population is based on a series of short-term projections for the resident population of the United States," says an explanation of the Population Clock at the Census Bureau website. "At the end of each year, a new series of population estimated, from the census date forward, is used to revise the postcensal estimates."
    I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I'm guessing that later this week some tinkering will be done to the Population Clock to change the rate of our country's estimated population growth. I hope it will slow it down a little, because we're already up to 317,295,275.
    Page 2 of 2 - As I write this, the wait is getting longer to get into our nation's best chain restaurants.
    You might be interested in knowing that the World Population Clock is now saying that there are 7,132,779,606 ... 7,132,779,616 ... 7,132,779,638 ... people in the world.
    I stopped to think about that for a few seconds, and now there are 7,132,779,883 people. So, my advice to you is don't think about it. I'm sort of sorry I brought it up.

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