10 Real Life Examples Of Exponential Growth


Have you noticed green coloured mold on your bread spoiling your breakfast in a few hours? When you leave bread out for a long time, discolouration on bread occurs which is popularly known as bread mold. This bread mold is a microorganism which grows when the bread is kept at normal room temperature. The bread mold grows at a surprisingly alarming rate. This growth at a fast pace is defined as “Exponential Growth.”

Exponential growth

Exponential growth is the increase in number or size at a constantly growing rate. In exponential growth, a population’s per capita (per individual) growth rate stays the same regardless of the population size, making it grow faster and faster until it becomes large and the resources get limited.

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Let us check the everyday examples of “Exponential Growth Rate.”

1. Microorganisms in Culture

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During a pathology test in the hospital, a pathologist follows the concept of exponential growth to grow the microorganism extracted from the sample. Microbes grow at a fast rate when they are provided with unlimited resources and a suitable environment. It makes the study of the organism in question relatively easy and, hence, the disease/disorder is easier to detect.

2. Spoilage of Food

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When we keep cooked or uncooked food at room or warm temperature, it begins to get spoiled after some time. Almost everyone has come across the green discolouration which ruins the food and spreads quite fast. Microorganisms require a warm temperature to grow and divide at an exponential rate.

3. Human Population

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The human population is increasing exponentially. As of February 2019, the total population of the world exceeded 7.71 billion, and the numbers are amplifying day-by-day. However, in some areas, growth is slow or the population is on the verge of decline. China is the most populous country and India ranks second. It is, however, estimated that India will lead the world by 2030.

4. Compound Interest

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Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal amount of a loan or deposit, or in simpler words, interest on interest. Compound interest at a constant interest rate provides exponential growth to the capital.


5. Pandemics

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Pandemics are the outbreak of a disease throughout a particular area. For instance, during the influenza pandemic of 1918, the rate of patients suffering from flu increased and, therefore, it was considered an exponential growth of the disease.

6. Ebola Epidemic

Ebola virus-exponential growth

One of the most threatening epidemics that has ever happened in the world has been the “Ebola Epidemic.” It spread at such an alarming rate that the scientists declared it as exponential growth.” This is a disease outbreak that is advancing in an exponential fashion,” said Dr. David Nabarro, who was heading the U.N.’s effort against Ebola.

7. Invasive Species

Water hyacinth-exponential growth

Most of us might have heard about the world’s worst invasive weed- Water Hyacinth. They are generally grown for decorative purposes. Due to their exponential growth, they often end up clogging the rivers and blocking sunlight and oxygen to the organisms in the water. An invasive species is a species which is not native to a specific location and tends to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy, or human health.

8. Fire

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Most of us have seen forests turning into ashes in a couple of hours. It has been found that the area damaged in a fire has an exponential relationship with the duration of burning.

9. Cancer Cells

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Cancer is one of the most dreadful diseases in the world. Millions of people have already died of cancer, and many more are suffering from it, and the worst note is that cancer cells divide exponentially, if not treated.

10. Smartphones Uptake and Sale

smartphone uptake and sale-exponential growth

In today’s scenario, even a 7-year-old child is seen holding a smartphone. The sale of smartphones in so rapid that it has been considered an exponential sale.


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