Michelle Duggar Has Some Wild Theories About Overpopulation

The Duggar family first rose to prominence in 2004. Back then, the family had just 14 children, but they piqued the interest of viewers. Since then, they’ve taken part in two long-running TV shows, given countless interviews, and made hundreds of odd statements. Back in 2011, Michelle Duggar sat down with the Christian Broadcast Network and made a claim about overpopulation. She claimed that the entire population of the world could fit into a small Florida city. Does her math check out? Well, the answer isn’t that simple.

Michelle claimed that the entire population of the world could fit in Jacksonville, Florida

Michelle, during an interview, once suggested she wasn’t at all concerned about overpopulation. She claimed that the entire population of the world could fit into the city of Jacksonville, Florida. Family followers on FreeJinger, have pointed out that Michelle’s statement appears to be a common belief touted by the former leader of the Institute of Basic Life Principles, Bill Gothard.

The Institute of Basic Life Principles, or the IBLP, is the controversial Christian ministry that the Duggar family belongs to. The Bates family, famous for their show Bringing Up Bates, are also members of the ministry, although several of the adult Bates children have denounced the group. Derick Dillard and his wife, Jill Duggar, have also suggested they are in no way affiliated with the group.

Does Michelle’s math work?

When Michelle made the claim, back in 2011, the population of the world was around 7 billion. The city of Jacksonville has an area of around 873 square miles, which equals about 23 million square feet. In theory, if every person in the world was placed in Jacksonville, Florida, for some explicable reason, they could technically fit at least when Michelle made the claim.  

Each person would have about 3 square feet each to exist within, though. That hardly seems comfortable. For reference, New York City, which is among the most densely populated cities in the world, has a population density of 27,000 people per square mile, according to the NYC Department of Planning. That leaves each person in New York City around 1,000 square feet to exist within.

So, while Michelle’s math technically isn’t wrong, it leaves out some pretty important factors that scientists consider when discussing overpopulation. Michelle failed to factor in resource usage, infrastructure requirements, hygiene needs, and food and water access into her calculation. While, technically, everyone in the world could fit in Jacksonville, it would be in completely horrific living conditions, and it would be a totally unsustainable situation.

The Duggars have been slammed for contributing to overpopulation

The Duggar family has been slammed by critics in the past for contributing to overpopulation. Michelle and her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, have 19 children, and many of their children have families of their own. If all 19 of the Duggar kids marry and have just 10 children each, Michelle and Jim Bob would have almost 200 grandchildren.

As it stands, Michelle and Jim Bob have 17 grandchildren already. Joy-Anna Duggar, and her husband, Austin Forsyth, recently announced they are expecting again, and fans also believe Jinger Duggar may be pregnant. Additional pregnancy announcements are expected as the year progresses.