Figures and beings



A reader, knowing my passion for numbers, percentages and statistics, gives me sensational information gleaned from the magazine Challenges, serious magazine if there is one: “1 in 15 people who have ever lived on Earth are alive today. “ Information that it punctuates with a big question mark, like what it is really rubbish. Which is exactly what I’m telling myself. Well, believe in zombies, why not. But wanting to make us swallow that one in 15 people who have lived on Earth since the dawn of time would still be alive, others! Nevertheless, like any journalist concerned with verifying the validity of any information, even the most bizarre, I went to take a closer look. I came across an indisputable authority on the matter, the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), based in Washington. Well, imagine that’s true. As long as you understand the exact meaning of this assertion. With many assumptions on the most ancient times, the PRB indeed estimates (in 2011) at 108 billion the total number of people born on Earth, since there are people on Earth. But today we are, on this same Earth, about 7 billion. That is, very exactly, 6.5% of the entire human population born in the history of mankind. Suffice to say that one in 15 people who have never lived on Earth is alive today. Ah well that then! I will look at us differently …

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