Let’s talk about matters of life and death

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, January 6, 2022

According to Census.gov, in the United States one birth occurs approximately every nine seconds, and one death every 11 seconds. 

On Jan. 2 at 2:46 p.m., the U.S. population was 332,405,827. If the 9 seconds/11 seconds formula holds, then by 3 p.m. 76 more people will have died and 93 people will have been born. The 9/11 formula has a net positive of 17 people in that 14 minutes. So … approximately 56 new people net per hour, meaning the U.S. population will have grown to 332,406,345 by midnight Jan. 2. 

Then add 1,344 people per 24 hours for each day until you read this. 

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But wait! Those totals don’t include the addition of international migrants — one more each 130 seconds. When you consider this, the U.S. pop grows by one person every 40 seconds. Which means in the time it has taken me to write these paragraphs, the nation’s total population has already grown to 332,409,534. And now it’s even more. 

It’s growth of 2,160 people per 24 hours — or 90 people per hour. 

Wow, that’s a lot of people. Hold on, I’m learning more …

The Census.gov population clock (which you can find for yourself at Census.gov/popclock/) is based on a series of short-term projections, but it does not include members of the military who are overseas, or their dependents, or other U.S. citizens who reside outside the U.S.’s borders. 

OK. So that means we have an even larger pop, and that number fluctuates by deaths and births, as well.

It’s kind of mind-boggling to think that 7,854 people die and 9,600 people are born on average in the United States every single day. The impact of those deaths and/or births can easily be missed or dismissed by the vast majority of people just because we aren’t personally impacted by each one.

But it only takes one death or one birth to make that impact.

The first death I can recall that deeply impacted me was the accidental death of my best friend, Darryl. Struck by a car while playing on his bicycle, Darryl suffered severe injuries and died a couple of days later at age 12. I was 13. It took so long to get to a point where I could deal with his death, his absence from my daily life, and in some ways it still hits deep, even almost 40 years later.

The first birth that really impacted me at a deep, deep level was that of my firstborn child — my son, Tobie. I can remember his shock of black hair and practically no crying (at first). On his very first day of post-womb life, he was already demonstrating side-eyes and “I’m not impressed” looks on his cute little face. Now he’s nearly 30 years old and has perfected those looks. On his cute little face.

But no other birth has affected me like the birth of Jesus, because his birth means God came to Earth in a way we could understand him and learn to love him, and love like him. No other death has affected me like the death of Jesus, because his death means God loved me enough to sacrifice his only Son to pay the price for my sins. And then, of course, there’s the resurrection — and that rebirth of Jesus will affect me for the remainder of eternity.

What death and life have affected you the most?

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.