Pi-hundred million people live in U.S.
August 14th, 2012
05:24 PM ET

Pi-hundred million people live in U.S.

If you are a fan of the number pi, you'll love this: The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the American population reached 314,159,265 Tuesday.

That's exciting for math geeks because pi is 3.14159265... But it doesn't stop there. The digits continue in an apparently random fashion infinitely.

In a perfect circle, pi is the ratio of circumference (the distance around) to diameter (the distance across). Fans celebrate pi on March 14, Pi Day, by eating pies, reciting digits and engaging in other pi-related activities.

Pi has many uses - for instance, in constructing a building or analyzing the geometry of DNA.

The digits of pi have proved fascinating enough for some people to memorize thousands of them. Musical nerds have even written pi songs, one of which led to a copyright dispute that was settled this year on Pi Day.

Now the U.S. population can be added to the list of pi-related oddities - at least briefly. The government's current population counter was already well past pi-hundred million as of this writing.

"This is a once in many generations event...so go out and celebrate this American pi," Census Bureau Chief Demographer Howard Hogan said in a statement.

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Filed under: Math • On Earth
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. reedbooksmore

    I'd like to eat her pie : )

    August 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  2. Allen Cox

    In an "apparently" random fashion? Jesus, not to geek out, but did you even bother to do anything beyond skimming the wikipedia page for pi to write this?

    August 29, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  3. LKT

    Pi....I was hoping it was 42.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  4. MBD in Chadds Ford

    What a fun article comparing our recorded population with the mathematical constant, 3.14. Of course we have an immigrant population, more harshly written: an illegal population, which obviously skews the aforementioned recorded population of the good 'ol USA. This country always has had that – an immigrant/illegal population. There is no point in US history where we haven't had an immigrant/illegal population. I'm pretty sure you will find no country without an illegal or immigrant population. Take Germany for example, and the number of Polish immigrants that pick grapes in the Mosel region every harvest – all illegal, all immigrants (or most of them). In Kennett Square, PA, there are two different communities and it's apparent with the use of language and types of stores those living in the community choose to shop or dine at. You have a predominantly English-Speaking American culture shopping at Giant and Whole Foods and eating at Subway and TGI Friday's, and then you have a predominantly Spanish-Speaking culture shopping at respective Spanish-named and speaking grocery stores and restaurants. Rather then separate people, why not work together? At least for the future of our country and our economy. I'm so sick of reading racist and ignorant comments about citizenship and who's accounted for in this country.

    August 24, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • MBD in Chadds Ford

      * There is no point in US history "when" we haven't had an illegal/ immigrant population.

      August 24, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  5. UsayWha?

    Pi... one of the many things I never really understood from high school.

    August 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  6. wade long

    The next 1000 years will be the bloodiest most life ending millenia ever known. Be ready world, everything about humanity you ever considered is going to shift. But keep it in perspective, it won't be politics, but mere survival. Due to the doubling effect of exponential population growth, in 2000 years the mass of humans will equal the mass of the planet. The UN's plan for sustainability is already in play. Don't fight it, resistence is futile.

    August 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Hiway

      If you don't mind, I would like to see government taking a look at what resources and space we have left and do something to stop illegals and encourage population control. I dn[t know many people who subscribe to the more the merrier. Most of us recognize that our bounaries can only support so many and no more.

      August 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  7. Mo Brown

    Does the number 314,159,265 represent legal citizens only? Factor in the number of people with expired green cards, work visas, and illegal immigration, the number would be over 400,000 living in the United States in 2012.

    August 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • wade long

      Read what you wrote.

      August 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  8. DudeLebowski

    The Dude's theory: Population growth is directly proportional to unemployment

    August 17, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Robert

      Bad theory. Negative population growth is a terrible economic problem. Countries need growth to survive.

      August 20, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • davisneilp

        Growth can't be sustained forever.

        August 20, 2012 at 9:37 am |
      • jen

        Wrong! Countries only need growth if their retirement systems are PONZI schemes.... what a house of cards we have.

        August 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Luisto

        Countries' population growth is not linked to economic growth by itself. Economic growth is a relatively new phenomenon, which started after the industrial revolution. Before the late 1700's civilizations had fairly similar standard of living for hundreds or even thousands of years. Also, population and unemployment are very different things and don't necessarily affect each other. Population is just a number of people living within an area, while unemployment is a percentage of this people willing and actively trying to find a job without success. This number depends on the effect of economic, political and social environment and has nothing to do with the amount of people; growth is sustainable until we run out of natural recourses, if that could ever happen.

        August 23, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  9. MathRocks

    I'm gonna get a bunch of little pumpkins this year for Halloween, and carve one # into each of them, arranging them into "3.14159..." so I can say I made a "Pumkin Pi"

    August 16, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  10. Seamus

    We might see it hitting tau within our lifetime.

    August 15, 2012 at 4:40 am |
  11. Kevin Crawford

    Ladies and gentlemen, as hot as the girl in the stock photo is, can we please get back to the important point that there are now π*10^9 people in this country? Or that Malaysia is very close to crossing the π^15 threshold?

    August 15, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Seamus

      you mean pi*10^8

      August 15, 2012 at 4:37 am |
  12. Jonathan

    I was fully expecting a number over 9000.

    August 15, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  13. lexlea

    I just happened to have started reading "The Life of Pi" yesterday.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Annaaaa

      ahahaha i hated that book so much

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  14. TR in ATL

    I remember watching my clock when we hit 1:23:45, June 7, 1989 or 1:23:45, 6/7/89.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  15. communicator1453

    Bye bye Miss American Pi.

    August 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm |


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