- NPM is intentionally suited to lots of small libraries that do one thing and do it (hopefully) well, and composing those libraries in useful ways. Whereas systems like Debian have scaling limits with large numbers of packages, NPM tries hard to avoid this so that one hundred ten-line packages are as reasonable as a single thousand-line package.
- CI systems aim for reproducibility by deploying from source and having declarative configurations, in much the way that most distro package builds happen in a clean-room environment.
The current human population of earth is about 7.7 billion, so that number should probably be closer to 1.17 npm packages per week per human being. That is still quite a lot, though
And perhaps the CI server folks would want this anyway because it would be vastly faster.
Not having a standard library on par with other scripting languages just added overhead and incompatibility for years as people invented ad hoc alternatives, often buggy. The accelerated core language growth has been hugely helpful for that but you still have issues with things as basic as the module system which exist for understandable reasons but are just a waste of developer time.