The seven billionth person on Earth was likely born on Oct. 31, 2011, according to United Nations data. With this milestone, how the planet can sustain such a large population has become an urgent question.

"100 People: A World Portrait" uses World Health Organization, Census, United Nations, and other data, to shrink the world population stats down to apply to just 100 people.

If the world were only 100 people, here’s what it would be like.

Age Ranges of Tumblr’s Global Audience:
Tumblr sees about 150 million global unique visitors monthly. comScore, an Internet analytics firm, averaged Tumblr’s age ranges over the first quarter of 2014 for both Dashboard and blog network traffic worldwide:

  • Ages 13 to 17: 15%
  • Ages 18 to 34: 41%
  • Ages 35 to 54: 29%
  • Ages 55 and up: 15%

"People are often really surprised to note that we have the same percentage of 55-plus-year-olds as we do 13-to-17-year-olds," said Danielle Strle (strle), Tumblr’s director of product for community and content, in an NPR webinar. “But over half of our audience is solidly in the 13-to-34 demographic.”


"On Demographics."

Following the news this week made me really, really angry and I don’t think some people realize just how many Americans are affected by aggressive and militarized law enforcement. We need to call for immediate police reform for the sake of the kids coming up right now.


Common wisdom has it that Tumblr is filled mostly with people in their  teens and early twenties. I keep seeing people talk about being “older than the average” Tumblr user and naturally, that makes me curious to know, well, how old is the average Tumblr user, really? Fortunately, other people are interested in this, too, and have already done some surveys. This data comes from Google Doubleclick Ad Planner data that has been available to advertisers. It is from 2012, but it probably hasn’t changed significantly since then. This data came from the United States only, and the demographics may vary somewhat in other countries. 

Tumblr skews toward the younger end of the social media world, but the average age of Tumblr users is actually 34.6 years old. This is only a little bit younger than the average age for social media users as a whole (36.9). The youngest Tumblr users (0-24) are about 30% of total, while the next two groups (25-44) look like added together they’re a bit over 40%. Another website breaks down the same Ad Planner age data a bit differently and shows that people over 35 are 47% of Tumblr users. (13-17=8%; 18-34=45%). Compared to Facebook, where 66% of users are over 35, Tumblr definitely has a younger set of users. The average age, however, is still around going to be around 34 years old. No matter how you slice it,Tumblr is younger than most other social media sites, but not as young as you might think it is.

In terms of gender, the surveys only gathered data on male and female.Tumblr has 62% women, a fairly higher amount of women than Facebook (57%). but not nearly as much as Pinterest or Blogger.

So, while it’s fair to say that Tumblr is a more “youthful” site than most other social media sites, the idea that the “average” Tumblr user is in the youngest age group is incorrect.

I’m extremely curious about all this and this is my first inquiry into the topic. I haven’t even looked into the academic literature yet. So this is sort of a first look. I’ll definitely post about it when I find a properly designed, peer reviewed and published survey on the matter.

Source of graphs and information 

Additional information


The only information we have on Elven childhood and maturation comes from Laws and Customs of the Eldar (Histories of Middle-earth Volume X).

For at the end of the third year mortal children began to outstrip the Elves, hastening on to a full stature while the Elves lingered in the first spring of childhood. Children of Men might reach their full height while Eldar of the same age were still in body like to mortals of no more than seven years. Not until the fiftieth year did the Eldar attain the stature and shape in which their lives would after- wards endure, and for some a hundred years would pass before they were full-grown.

In other words, Elves grow almost as quickly as Men until their third birthday and then slow dramatically. They look seven when Men are reaching adulthood. They come of age at fifty but often aren’t fully grown until 100 - so fifty might be the human equivalent of 17 or 18, when adolescents come of age in most societies, while 100 is the equivalent of 25, when the human brain actually finishes maturing. Then, of course, Elves cease to grow altogether. Now it’d be really useful to have a graph showing Elven ages versus the comparable human maturities, so ‘thirty-five-year-old Elf’ actually means something. And if we just connect the dots between our data points, we get a really ugly and uneven growth pattern. We want something that starts fast and then levels out, eventually becoming asymptotic (no matter how long they live, Elves will never reach the physical age of a human 30-year-old). 

The obvious solution is a logistic curve, usually used in population growth and resource saturation models. I had to modify it a little bit to manage the fact that Elves grow at the same rate as Men for the first three years of their lives (that’s the ugly little start to the curve there), but from three forward Tolkien’s statements on Elven aging can be perfectly modeling by a logistic function. I set the asymptote at 27: no matter how long an Elf lives, their body will never mature past the physical age of a human 27-year-old. At 18, 19, or 20 years old, an Elf will look 7. At fifty, they’ll be 18. At 100, 26. Just like Tolkien specified, sort of.

So now we can answer all the urgent questions of the legendarium. Maeglin was 12 when Eöl named him; how old is the human equivalent? About five and a half. In the Annals of Aman Fëanor is 16 when his father remarries: what is the equivalent? Six and three-quarters. 

In my timeline for the birth of the Finwean grandchildren, Maedhros is forty when Fingon is born: what does that translate to? 14 and a half. What age-equivalent are Galadriel’s big brothers when she’s born? Twenty-one, fifteen, and nine respectively. 

The second, zoomed-in graph doesn’t show the curve well but it makes it easy to find age-equivalents yourself.


While we don’t have any market research, the eyes don’t lie. If you go to conventions and comic book stores, more and more female readers are emerging. They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to.

- Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor-in-chief

While making the rounds promoting Marvel’s new series Ms. Marvel, the above quote was made in discussing the female comic readership. Other than DC’s attempt at market research conducted with Nielsen, the market research done to figure out the readership and fandom of comic books pales in comparison of, well, pretty much all other forms of entertainment. That is partially what got me to begin looking in to what data was available and attempt to figure out those demographic questions.

Every month, I release new numbers looking at data readily available to anyone through Facebook. While it’s not necessarily everyone who shops up to comic shops, every Wednesday, regularly, irregularly, once in a blue moon, etc., these are people who have said they like “comics,” “graphic novels,” “manga,” and specific publishers. So, I’d have to disagree with Alonso, there is market research, and there potentially is a lot more market research using data available to Marvel, they just overlook it, or don’t admit they use it (Marvel, give me a call, I can hook you up).

In February, the Facebook universe of self-identified comic fans grew to a new high of over 24 million fans in the United States. Of that 24 million, women account for 46.67% of that population. Since I’ve been tracking these stats, that’s the highest percentage of women recorded. With some changes on Facebook’s end, I can now see what terms have grown from the previous month, and in this case it wasn’t any single term, it was many of the over 100 used to compile the statistics.

But what Alonso and Marvel is seeing shouldn’t be a shock at all when it comes to women and what interests them. In a September breakdown, I looked at just female comic book characters and who were fans of them. Exhausting a few lists online of every female comic book character, I found every term I could on Facebook for these stats. While the amount of people who like female comic characters was about 5.8 million, women made up a majority 62.07% of those fans.

Shocker: women like female characters. While Alonso says Marvel doesn’t have hard numbers to back it up, that correlation, and Marvel’s wanting to expand their female readership (which I tracked at about 36.96%) explains their launch of new solo series for Black Widow, Elektra, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel as part of All-New Marvel NOW! and greater focus on female characters in other books too. They see the phenomena my stats would predict.

Knowing who is buying what is vital for any modern day business. Understanding demographics allows you to better market your product to a greater audience, and sell similar products better. To ensure a healthy comic book industry in the future, we need to know who makes up that audience today. In 2014, every publisher should be thinking about that, working to find the answers to that question, and using that information in actionable ways.

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Comparison Germany - USA

If Germany were your home instead of the United States you would…

- consume 50.33% less oil
- use 46.72% less electricity
- have 40.64% less babies
- experience 40% less of a class divide
- have 35.67% less chance of dying in infancy
- make 26.51% less money
- have 25.21% more free time
- spend 48.43% less money on health care
- have 11.83% more chance at being employed
- be 83.33% less likely to have HIV/AIDS
- live 1.17 years longer

Top 5 Countries with the Lowest Rates of Intentional Homicide:

  • Liechtenstein - Almost 90% of the country is Christian, ethnicity is 86% Alemannic German. Most foreign borns are from other parts of Europe and Turkey.
  • Singapore - 74% ethnic Chinese, though an increase in the foreign population in the last two years has caused racial tension.
  • Japan - 98.5% Japanese. Out of 127.6 Million people in 2012, only 442 homicides were reported. Compare that to the US, we have twice the population and have 14,173 homicides a year.
  • Iceland - 93.34% Icelandic
  • Hong Kong - 92.6 % Ethnic Chinese

Duck Dynasty story is just another symptom of conservative demographic doom.

The common thread among defenses of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s bigotry — beside completely ignoring the racist aspect of it — is that A&E is buckling under pressure for special interests interested in “political correctness.”

This is, of course, wrong. What’s going on can be demonstrated by looking at polling data. In July, Gallup asked voters whether they’d vote for a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage in every state. The result of the study showed that such a referendum would win with 52% of the vote. And when we break it down by demographics, we see that the strongest support came from: #1. liberals; #2. those with no religion; #3. Democrats; and #4. 18-34 year-olds.

And that’s where conservatives misunderstand A&E’s reaction. They think it’s all about demos #1, #2, and #3. The truth is that it’s about #4. The 18-34 demo is the TV goldmine — young adults, mostly without children, who spend money more freely than any other demo. It’s not political pressure that has A&E spooked, it’s the market. Concern for the market — which conservatives claim to love — is at its heart undemocratic (which is why conservatives generally prefer it). 18-34s are a minority of Americans, but their spending habits give them outsized influence.

Firing Robertson has nothing to do with “political correctness” on A&E’s part. It’s about who brings the bread and butter.

Conservatives do not.

Why women’s bodies abort males during tough times

One outcome of such “culling” should be that healthier sons are born during rough periods. Indeed, in 2006, population health researchers Ralph Catalano and Tim Bruckner of UC Berkeley found this trend in population data from the Human Mortality Database. In those rough years, a greater percentage of boys survived infancy. But Bruckner wanted to get beyond these statistics to see not just if those boys born during stressful times were healthier but also whether they would produce more children than boys born during less stressful times. Such a pattern would provide an evolutionary explanation for such culling. It “might be adaptive,” Lee says.

Bruckner turned to Virpi Lummaa, a biologist at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom who had digitized centuries of Finnish church records that documented family histories and recorded other data about every Finn born at those times. The researchers looked at the sex ratios of newborns from 1790 through 1870 and tallied how many males survived infancy, an indication of how healthy the fetus was, and how many children they subsequently had that in turn reached puberty. They found 16 years where the percentage of male infants surviving plunged, with one in the late 18th century dropping to 79 males for every 100 females. Those males did do better than their peers born in normal years, with about 12% more of them surviving past age 1, Bruckner, Lummaa, and their colleagues report online this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The data also indicated that in the most extreme case, survivors produced 8.7% more offspring than males born in years where the numbers of male and female babies were about equal.

A database obtained from 18th century Finnish church records on families such as this one is helping resolve why sex ratios vary through time.  Virpi Lummaa

We experience cultural continuity with our parents’ and our children’s generations. Even when we don’t see eye to eye with our parents on political questions or we sigh in despair about our kids’ fashion sense or taste in music, we generally have a handle on what makes them tick. But a human lifetime seldom spans more than three generations, and the sliding window of one’s generation screens out that which came before and that which comes after; they lie outside our personal experience. We fool ourselves into thinking that our national culture is static and slow-moving, that we are the inheritors of a rich tradition. But if we could go back three or four generations, we would find ourselves surrounded by aliens — people for whom a North Atlantic crossing by sail was as slow and risky as a mission to Mars, people who took it for granted that some races were naturally inferior and that women were too emotionally unstable to be allowed to vote. The bedrock of our cultural tradition is actually quicksand. We reject many of our ancestors’ cherished beliefs and conveniently forget others, not realizing that, in turn, our grandchildren may do the same to ours.

Let’s focus on the next three generations and try to discern some patterns.

Generation X’s parents, the baby boomers, grew up in the 1950s. It was not unusual to expect to work in the same job for life. They seldom traveled internationally because it was expensive and slow, and their cultural environment was predominantly defined by their nationality — an extraordinary international incursion such as the arrival of Beatlemania in the 1960s was shocking precisely because it was so unusual.

With few exceptions, Generation X never had the job for life. Members of the generation are used to nomadic employment, hire-and-fire, right-to-work laws, the whole nine yards of organized-labor deracination. But they also grew up in the age of cheap jet travel, on a globe shrunk so small that 48 hours and two weeks’ average wages could take you to the antipodes. (In 1813, you could pay two weeks’ average wages and take 48 hours to travel 100 to 200 miles by stagecoach. In 2013, that can take you from Maryland to Hong Kong — and then on to Moscow.)

Generation Y’s parents are Generation X. Generation Y comprises the folks who serve your coffee in Starbucks and build software at Google. Generation Y has never thought of jobs as permanent things. Most Generation Y folks will stare at you blankly if you talk about loyalty to one’s employer; the old feudal arrangement (“we’ll give you a job for life and look after you as long as you look out for the Organization”) is something their grandparents ranted about, but it’s about as real to them as the divine right of kings. Employers like Google or Facebook that provide good working conditions are the exception, not the rule. Employers are alien hive-mind colony intelligences that will fuck you over for the bottom line on the quarterly balance sheet. They’ll give you a laptop and tell you to hot-desk or work at home so that they can save money on office floor space and furniture. They’ll dangle the offer of a permanent job over your head but keep you on a zero-hours contract for as long as is convenient.

On the other hand: Generation Y has grown up in a world where travel is cheap and communication is nearly free. Their cultural zeitgeist is less parochial than that of their grandparents, more global, infused with Japanese anime and Swedish heavy metal, as well as local media produce. This is the world they grew up in: This is the world that defines their expectations.

The problem is, you can’t run a national security organization if you can’t rely on the loyalty of the majority of your workers — both to the organization and to the state it serves. At one time, continuity of employment meant that the agencies at least knew their people, but there is now an emerging need to security-clear vast numbers of temporary and transient workers with no intrinsic sense of loyalty to the organization.

The NSA and its fellow swimmers in the acronym soup of the intelligence-industrial complex are increasingly dependent on nomadic contractor employees and increasingly subject to staff churn. Security clearance is carried out wholesale by other contractor organizations that specialize in human resource management, but even they are subject to the same problem: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Charles Stross, Spy Kids

Charles Stross is the author of masterworks of sci fi like Accelerando, and he thinks like a futurist. Here his ruminations about the rapidly shifting work compact between the intelligence services and its workers in an increasingly Benthamite surveillance state is dark and dead on.

Report: Journalists Are Miserable, Liberal, Over-Educated, Under-Paid, Middle-Aged Men

Today, the term ink-stained wretches is exactly one-third accurate.

Journalists aren’t quite so blotched from pens and printers, now that the newspaper die-out has wiped out 50 years of advertising gains in a decade. With cleaner shirts, less paper, and worse pay, we’re more like carpal-tunnel wretches. We’re older on average than we used to be, slightly more moral, and far more lugubrious about the future of our profession.

Here is the state of the American journalist, according to a survey from Indiana University.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Many library staff members say they see the role of a public library enabling access to information, regardless of format. 

Our data shows that 91% of Americans have either used a public library at some point in their life, or say someone else in their household uses a public library. Among them, 77% of Americans who use the internet but lack home access say computer and internet access at their public library is important to them and their family.

An article in the New York Times yesterday explored some of the ways patrons of the Clason’s Point Library branch in the Bronx rely on the library’s internet access—even when the library itself is closed.

Read more

The racists have come out in droves to complain that only minorities will benefit from the #FreeCommunityCollege education plan put forth by President Obama. Let me just leave this right here for all of you racists to see who benefits most from community colleges.SOURCE: American Association of Community College via BPS. Choke of some facts. 

Resources: Diversity and Demographics

It sounds odd but a good resource for writers is

It’s an easy way to set a story in a specific place and time and be fairly true to life. You can actually see the people, see how many Black, White, Asian, Lantinx people are in a school.

You can infer how they were treated by the activities’ section (schools with 70% Black students but all White student council, all White football team, all White administration).

You can look at the students of a town’s public schools vs it’s private school (and see how White the private school stays). You can see specific fashion and hair styles and how they differ by place and by year.