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.

  • “There’s something you don’t hear a lot of anymore — couples and their 14 kids.”

    @bob – I guess you don’t watch TLC:17 Kids and Counting, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Kids by the Dozen.

    Kids by the dozen showcases familys with 12 or more kids…

    OK I know that it is now only in TV specials that we see them much in everyday life. Unless, like me, you attend Roman Catholic Church services. In my small Church we have about 10-15 families with 6 or more.

  • MR

    Rick Renzi, the now former congressman from northern Arizona, has 12 kids and is still hoping for #13.

  • The Missouri River in the dakotas is pretty much the eastern edge of “Mormon Country”. Growing up in ND, it wasn’t unusual to meet LDS families with 6-12 kids.

    One of my best friends in college was the oldest of 12. Plus four adoptees, a couple of foster kids, and a foreign exchange student.

    Dad was a copier repairman, mom was a part-time nurse in case you were about to ask.

  • I remember when I was growing up families were a lot bigger. Also I think 1 ever 12 seconds is more than 1 every 14 seconds . . but math isn’t my thing.

  • bsimon

    Some of the citations seem to support Bob’s contention that “There’s something you don’t hear a lot of anymore — couples and their 14 kids.” If you have to go to TV or Mormon country to note that big families still exist, doesn’t that support the argument that you don’t hear about it too often anymore? As a Catholic kid, there were families in our church with 6, 8 even 10 kids. Granted I’m not plugged into the Catholic community here, but it sure seems like such families aren’t so common any more.

  • I love the picture!! I am a 38 year old Mom to 14 kids, soon 15, and also one of the Kids By The Dozen Mom’s from the series. I love the picture!!

    Christi Mom to 14, very soon 15.