Feel Like Queen Was Always There? A Staggering Stat

'WaPo' analysis estimates 90% of world's living humans were born after she ascended to throne
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2022 8:37 AM CDT
Feel Like Queen Was Always There? A Staggering Stat
A tribute to Queen Elizabeth II is displayed on a billboard at the Victoria Center in Nottingham, England, on Friday.   (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

Before she died Thursday at the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II was seen as a rock of sorts for the world—in other words, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it in a statement mourning her death, the royal "was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change." Forbes similarly notes the queen's "unprecedented" 70-year reign, which earned her the title of Britain's longest-ruling monarch, as well as a slew of other records. "She's been a constant in my life," a 70-year-old London resident tells the AP. But Philip Bump provides the best context in the Washington Post, writing, "The scope of her tenure can be encapsulated quite simply," with one rather astonishing fact: At least 90% of the humans now on Earth were born after Elizabeth had already been named queen.

Bump analyzed stats from the CIA's World Factbook to suss out how much of the global population has "never experienced a non-Queen Elizabeth II world." He found that only about 10% of the people currently on the planet are 65 and over. Bump points out that individual nations may have more precise stats—after all, those on the younger end of the World Factbook's "over 65" may not have been born before Elizabeth's ascension to the throne. But, as Bump notes, "precision isn't really the point here. Instead, it's scale. The vast majority of the living human population has always existed alongside her royal highness Queen Elizabeth II." Then, a poignant closer: "Until Thursday." (More Queen Elizabeth II stories.)

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