Supposedly, the seven billionth human was born yesterday. It’s the sort of milestone that’s abstract and difficult to be exact about, but somewhat like a birthday, it just feels important. So in honor of this astounding milestone, here’s a collection of pieces explaining what seven billion humans (or more) might actually mean:
The Washington Post ran a thought-provoking collection of stories, raising all kinds of questions about Earth’s growing population, from the abstract, like what would eight billion humans be like, to the very practical, like how do census takers count all of us? You can access all of the stories here.
The Atlantic Cities site told the story with graphs from the UN. The most notable one (below) depicts urban growth between 1950 and 2010. If you were wondering where seven billion people will live, the answer will, in large part, be cities.
And finally, the BBC has a calculator that gives you an idea of just how many people seven billion actually is in relation to the arc of human history, and a dizzying sense of how many people have ever walked our humble planet (I was the 79,943,237,493rd (ish) person born in the history of Earth).
Now that we did it, “next stop eight billion!”