July 11, 2012 - The Day of Five Billion

On this date in 1987, a baby boy named Matej Gaspar was born in Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia). He was proclaimed the five billionth inhabitant of Earth.

The United Nations Fund for Population Activities has declared every July 11 to be the “Day of Five Billion.” They hope to draw attention to population growth and the importance of reining in the pace of growth so that the Earth's finite resources don't get stretched too far.

Since around 150 babies are born each minute, worldwide, of course this particular birth on this particular date being the five billionth is just a estimate. We know that little Matej Gaspar was born at 1:35 a.m. EST, but when exactly were the babies in Africa and Cambodia born that day and week, and when exactly did all the people die that week? Matej serves more as a symbol of the five billionth person rather than the actual five billionth person.

As a matter of fact, the population census data used to make these announcements has an error margin of plus or minus TWELVE MONTHS!

So don't take too seriously the fact that October 12 is called the Day of 6 Billion because of the October 12, 1999, birth of Adnan Mevic in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. And don't be surprised that there is a disagreement about what should be the Day of 7 Billion—October 31 (for a little girl born in the Philippines on this date in 2011) or some day in March (for someone born in March of 2012).

But what you should take seriously is that there are seven billion people on the planet. Estimates predict that there will be eight billion people in 2027 and nine billion in 2046! 

Based on how fast the billions pile up, would you like to make a guess of what year scholars believe the human population reached one billion people?

Check out the answer below these photos of adorable babies born on October 31, 2011.

ANSWER: The human population finally reached the one billion milestone, it is estimated, in the year 1804. So for thousands and thousands and thousands of years, there was less than one billion people—and now there are seven billion! W-O-W!

Also on this date:

Guldensporenslag (Flemish National Day)

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