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Ask Marilyn: Having Many, Many Children
Elisabeth Van Noordwyk of Valencia, California, writes:
Marilyn: On a TV show recently, a father of many, many children was asked about being concerned about contributing to overpopulation, and he replied by saying that it's a fact that the entire population of the world could fit into the city limits of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I doubted it. How much actual space would be required to hold, as one massive group, the Earth's population of approximately 7 billion people? I think it would take up the space of an entire state the size of Texas.
He was correct. Packed together, people don't take much space. (Envision looking straight down on yourself from above.) But that fun fact is misleading. If you gave everyone on the planet a 2' x 2' (four square feet) plot of land on which to stand, you could fit 250 people in a 1000 square foot apartment. The population density of New York City is about 27,000 people per square mile. That's more than 1000 square feet per person, and there's not a single farm to grow the food they need!