We can easily say numbers like 30 million, but can we comprehend the size of that number? The image atop this page has 30 million dots in it, can you locate yourself among them?

I studied Geology in college where we tried to grapple with deep time, where if the earth’s history was represented by the height of the leaning tower of Pisa, the entire human history would be represented by the layer of peeling paint on the top.

Thirty million years ago was the beginning of the Oligocene epoch, the continents were still shifting toward their present positions, Antarctica started icing over. Nobody needed health insurance as among the life on Earth at that time, horses and elephants first appeared, humans were still a long long way off from being present.

Of the fifty US states, only one, California, has a population over 30 million people, the number of people benefitting from the ACA is, yes, bigger than the number of people in Texas.

It would take the populations of the sixteen largest US Cities to reach a total of 30 million people — that is, the number of people who benefit from the ACA is greater than the combined populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Fort Worth.

A guy named John wanted to put the number one million in perspective, so he created a document with one million periods in it. Increase that 30 times, a Word Document with 30 million periods in it would 30 million periods would be a file 29.28 Mb in or printed, 7620 pages long.

On Jan 21, 2017, in a protest over prohibition laws, 31.1 million people in India formed a human chain 7928 miles long across the state of Bihar. If 30 million US citizens formed a human chain, it would cross the country 3 times.

The largest football stadium in the country, at University of Michigan, seats 107,601 people. To seat 30 million people so Congress could explain to them all at once why they want to repeal their ACA insurance, we would need to build 278 more stadiums the size of Michigan Stadium.

According to the US Census population clock, at the time I am writing the US population is 324,519,200 — so the number of people who will lose access to health insurance if the ACA is appealed is 9.2% of the population.

How tall is a stack of 30 million one dollar bills? Even if you could keep them from blowing away, this stack would would be over 2 miles high. Or place 30 million one dollar bills end to end would would create a trail of money 2907 miles long. That would stretch all the way across the country, with the last 227 feet dangling in the ocean.

Because this is what motivates elected members of Congress, should they choose to repeal the ACA, the 30 million people affected is 15% of the estimated number of registered voters (200,081,377). A recently elected President still holds onto a belief that 3 million alleged illegal votes cost him the popular vote; 10 times that number would make render his argument meaningless.

30 million is a lot of people, get it?


The image used on this page has 30 million dots in it. Can you find yourself in it?

It was created using one of the 10,000 dot squares from One Million Dots on a Page and sizing an image to fit 300 copies of that square.