Information for Emerald and Greenwood High School graduation ceremonies

Billions and Billions

Billions and Billions

Original source unknown, but the math checks out.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, consider the following:

A billion seconds ago it was 1982.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate Washington spends it (as of 5 years ago)

  • A billion hours: One billion hours ago represents a time a bit over 114,000 years in the past, an era generally classified as the Lower Paleolithic era, or the “Old Stone Age.”
  • A billion days ago: Some versions of this piece include the line “A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.” A billion days is approximately 2.74 million years; the era defined by that time period is generally estimated to be about when the first species of the genus Homo appeared in Africa, having diverged from the Australopithecines.
  • A billion dollars ago: If the U.S. federal government were spending a billion dollars every 8 hours and 20 minutes, its total yearly expenditure would be a little more than $1 trillion. In the last few years, the budgets approved by Congress have been about double that amount, or $2 trillion per year.

About robertstevenson

Dr. Robert Stevenson is a Professor of Journalism and Director of Student Publications for the Department of Mass Communications and Theater at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. He received the Distinguished Faculty of the Year award for 2007-'08, and the Lander University Young Faculty Scholar Award in 2005-06. Stevenson also serves as chair of the Lander University American Democracy Project.