This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Mathematical Demography Milestone

Mathematical demographers probably would not agree with my characterization of yesterday's milestone as being in their realm, but it has a mathematical element to it. What was that milestone? The Huffington Post reports the story:
Shortly after 2:29 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, the U.S. population was exactly 314,159,265, or pi (π) times 100 million, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. The U.S. Census Bureau's Population Clock projects the real-time size of the U.S. population based on monthly population estimates.
This is kind of a trivial milestone, you might say, especially since it is an estimate, not a precise count. But what is not trivial is the sheer size of the US population. Although dwarfed by the populations of China and India, the US population is nonetheless the third largest in the world and larger than the combined countries of Northern and Western Europe. As the most populous rich country, the math we do rocks the rest of the world and not always for the better.

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