Santa Claus is simultaneously the laziest and most hard working man in history. He visits billions of boys and girls all over the world, defying time and space to ensure that no well-behaved child misses out on their share of Christmas cheer. On the other hand, he only works one night a year, and spends a lot of it sitting down.
With the world’s population growing all the time, we began to wonder: How much does Santa’s workload increase every year? After all, Santa isn’t getting any younger, and there are more chimneys for him to climb down every year. Are we in danger of reaching Santuration (sorry) point?
We did some advanced math - which you don’t need to check for accuracy at all, just take out word for it – to gain an insight into how Santa’s night shift has changed over the past century or so, and what impact it’s having on his timings and his health.
Crunching the numbers
We’re basing our assumption on 90% of Australians being good boys and girls. This may be optimistic, but hey, it’s Christmas. In 1914, the population of Australia was 4,921,800. Today, it’s around 21,000,000, a difference of 16,078,200. Remove 10% of that figure to represent the naughty and we’re left with 14,470,380.
This is big news for ol’ Nick. If we take any of his favourite festive treats – in the case of the Australia, milk and mince pies, in the UK, alcohol – we run into a problem immediately. One mince pie is 250 calories. If each good girl and boy gives Santa a mince pie, we’ll be loading him with an additional 3,617,595,000 compared to 1914. That many calories represents the daily limit of a 50+ year old man for almost 5,000 years, all in one night.
It gets worse. If we all give Santa a glass of semi-skimmed milk, we’ll almost certainly have killed him before midnight. A small glass of milk each is 39 metric tonnes of fat, roughly the same weight as 6 Black Hawk helicopters, which would come in handy to pick up the slack while Santa’s in hospital.
The above, combined with the additional time, the strain on reindeers (and all that dung has to go somewhere) and the sheer volume of gifts that has to be crammed into that sack means that Santa’s job is a totally different animal now to a century ago. Let’s hope for all our sakes that he’s up to the challenge.
To find out how your family fits into Australia’s population growth, search for them in our records here.