Natural increase: the beat goes on.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method of conveying the pace of world population growth to introductory population classes or organizations is presented. The lecturer should 1st obtain an electronic metronome preferably with volume control. The device may be borrowed from a university music department. The metronome should then be adjusted to approximately 176 beats/minute at the beginning of the presentation, and the audience/class asked what each tick means. It should be explained that each tick is a net additional birth not compensated for by a death, and that the beating is continuous. The lecturer may also explain that 164 beats/minute of the total; 175 stem from population growth in developing countries. The metronome may then be adjusted accordingly to the rate of 164 beats/minute. The audience may then be asked to consider whether the pace is increasing or decreasing. Despite the slow decline of the world population growth rate, the pace is actually increasing, and may lead to a discussion of exponential growth and population momentum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalPopulation today
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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