7 Billion Humans in 2011 | National Geographic Magazine: Phoenix Naturalization Ceremony | USA

Phoenix Naturalization Ceremony | USA

Phoenix Naturalization Ceremony | USA

While seven billion is a nice round number, knowing the identity of the lucky baby or the exact moment the threshold is crossed isn’t really any more important than pulling over to the side of the road to bask in your car’s 100,000th mile. But the building blocks for world population estimates—national demographic statistics and characteristics—are used by governments, businesses and aid groups to plan spending and spot potential trouble spots.

 —Carl Bialik, The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2011

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