How Many People Can Fit?

May 28, 1999

Whenever we talk about concerns of overpopulation, I like to mention two facts. First, if you took all the people in the world and had them stand side-by-side, they would occupy the space of Jacksonville, Florida. And I point out if you gave each family a house and lot, it would only take up the space of Texas.

Well, I usually get someone who calls about these statistics. And last Monday someone called again, and I decided to write a commentary on it so that the Probe web page would have all the relevant numbers.

Let's assume that each person occupies a space about two feet wide and two feet deep. Frankly that's a bit generous, I know I would easily fit into this space. So this is four square feet. Now multiply four square feet by 5 billion people. That's 20 billion square feet.

There are 27,878,400 square feet in a square mile. So how many square miles would be necessary to hold the world population? That crowd would cover 718 square miles. Jacksonville, Florida covers 759.6 square miles.

Let's take the next one, but this time I won't bore you with all the numbers. Let's assume that we can put everyone in the world into families of four. We'll give each family a three bedroom house on a 50-foot by 100-foot lot, with a nice front yard and room for a garden in the back. Well, you can do the math this time, but you will find that all the land we need can be found in the state of Texas, with a bit leftover for cowboys and longhorn steer.

Are we overpopulated and running out of room? Doesn't look like it to me.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.