10 Real Life Examples Of Exponential Growth


Have you ever noticed that green colored molds on your bread spoiling your breakfast in a few hours? When you leave bread out for a longer time, discoloration on bread occurs that we call bread mold. Those are actually some microorganism growing on them when kept at normal room temperature. And, they grow at an extremely 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 population size, making the population grow faster and faster as it gets larger until resources become limited.

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Let us check the everyday life examples of Exponential growth rate.

1. Microorganisms in Culture

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During the pathology test in the hospital, Pathologist follows the concept of exponential growth to grow the microorganism extracted from the patient’s body. Microbes grow at a fast rate when they are provided with unlimited resources and a suitable environment. It makes the study of that organism easy and hence, easy to detect the disease.

2. Spoilage of Food

bread mold-exponential growth

When we keep our cooked or uncooked food at room or warm temperature, they start getting spoiled after some time. Almost everyone has experienced that green discoloration that usually happens on our food and that too at an alarming rate. Microorganisms require a warm temperature to grow and divide in an exponential rate.

3. Human Population

world population-exponential growth

The human population is growing every day, and the number is increasing exponentially. As of February 2019, the total population of the world exceeds 7.71 billion people, and this number is continuing to grow each day. However, in some areas, growth is slowing or even declining. China being the most populous country and India is on the second. But it is estimated that India will lead the world by 2030 in population.

4. Compound Interest

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


5. Pandemics

Flu pandemic-exponential growth

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

6. Ebola Epidemic

Ebola virus-exponential growth

The most threatening epidemic ever happened in the world is the Ebola epidemic. It grew at such an alarming rate that the scientist declares it as exponential growth.”This is a disease outbreak that is advancing in an exponential fashion,” said Dr. David Nabarro, who is heading the U.N.’s effort against Ebola.

7. Invasive Species

Water hyacinth-exponential growth

Most of us have heard about the world’s worst invasive weed, Water Hyacinth, those were grown for a decoration purpose. But due to their exponential growth, they grow at a rapid rate on the water bodies, clogging up the rivers and blocking sunlight and oxygen to the water animals and other plants. An invasive species is a species that is not native to a specific location, and that 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 is 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 still the most dreadful disease in the world. Millions of people have already died of cancer, and much more are still 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 the 7-years-old child is seen holding a smartphone in his/her hands. The sale of smartphones in so rapid that it is now considered as an exponential sale.


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