There’s a really nice app on the BBC website that lets you figure out where you come in the global population statistics – for example, when I was born I was the four billionth, 50 millionth, seven hundred and sixty four thousandth, one hundred and sixty first person alive on the planet.  It goes on to let you look at country population statistics and average life expectancy.  Check it out here:  BBC News – 7 billion people and you: Whats your number?.

The app is based (primarily) on data from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) , who have their own app at  This asks you for more detailed information, not only your date of birth, but birth location, current location and such like, but it does then break down the data into a much wider spread of infographics that compare the situation back then, with the way things are now.  Anyone who’s helping learners work with describing trends and/or numbers (big numbers!) would find this a useful place to go to get some personalised data for the learners to work with.

Also on the web via UNFPA, is which is hoping to inspire people to take positive actions in their communities and around the world.  One of the more powerful ways they hope to achieve this is by people sharing their stories:  7 billion stories.  There is a registration form to complete (the usual) and you need a picture to upload.  Participants also need to be 13 years old or over.  Then you write a 600 character “story” about yourself and how you hope to influence change, give it a title and go!

It seems like there’s a fairly obvious lesson plan there!  The kicker though, is that it is only 600 CHARACTERS – not words!  So learners will need to be concise!  It may also help learners to look at the existing stories to get a better idea of the type of content that’s expected of them.

Worth a look anyway!  At the time of writing, the world’s population stands at 6, 999, 175, 608.  So be quick if you want to get there in time for 7 billion!