Tick tock


A few weeks ago, Google announced it was putting thousands of Time-Life photos on its image search, and when I checked it out, this was one of the first ones I found. It was from the 1964 World’s Fair and this population clock was a big deal to me (10 years old at the time) because it was in the Equitable Life pavilion and my dad worked for Equitable.

I was thinking of this today because the Census Bureau put out a press release this afternoon that said as of New Year’s Day, the U.S. population will be 305,529,237.

It said In January 2009, one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds.

And, according to the census bureau, net international migration is expected to add one person every 36 seconds to the U.S. population in January 2009, resulting in an increase in the total U.S. population of one person every 14 seconds.

That’s a factoid that, coupled with the photo, makes me whip out the official News Cut calculator.

Let’s see:

Since 1964, the population has grown by 113,430,699. There are 31,556,926 seconds in a year. There have been 11 leap days since 1964, each containing 86,400 seconds or 950,400. So, since that picture was taken in 1964 (I’ll guess and say Jule 1) to New Year’s Day, 1,405,233,607 seconds have come and gone.

So the population has increased at the rate of 1 every 12 seconds, somewhat less more than the predicted 1 every 14 seconds for 1999.

One reason for that may be those people sitting at the top of the stops in the picture above. It’s a couple and their 14 kids. There’s something you don’t hear a lot of anymore — couples and their 14 kids.