‘You are one in a million’ is not as good as it sounds. It’s definitely not as good as it used to be.
It means that there are 7,600 more of you around the world, which doesn’t make you feel as unique. It is possible to meet them.
‘You are one in a billion’ sounds better.
Although that still means there are 7 of you out there.
One in 7.6 billion is the best, although it’s a bit clunky and not as easy to say.
This is one of the downsides to population growth.
The global population in 1700 was about 600 million people.
By 1800 it had reached around 1 billion.
It had reached 1.6 billion by 1900, 2 billion by 1928, 5 billion by 1987 and 7.9 billion in 2021.
Since 1800 the global population has increased by 700%.
People used to freak out about this and worry about our impending doom as the sheer amount of people would surely overrun the planet, use everything and bring about the end of the world.
Why is no one worried about this now?
Because we have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. When that happens, families have less children because they can be confident that they will survive, they no longer need to think about who will look after them when they get older, and they become more educated about contraception. People’s generosity did this.
At this stage the global population should plateau at around 11 billion in 2100. Crisis just about averted.
Now, on to climate change.