Fun with Statistics


My chance of dying within the next year is 0.1415%. What's yours? (Note that to get a percent, you have to multiply the death probability by 100.)


NEXT: And one last comment...

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hanah, I’m assuming you’re a woman based on your name. (Please accept my apologies if I’m wrong.) The only place on that table where I see the precise number that you listed is for men. For a woman of the corresponding age the probability of death in the next year is 0.0475%.

    Interestingly, my probability of death (0.1269%) is lower than that of men a few years younger than me. I guess we guys really are a bunch of idiots when we’re in our early 20’s.

  2. Hanah, where do you find this stuff? It made my head hurt. The 0.1415% probability (multiplier accounted for) you cite means you’re a 22/23-year-old male, with a life expectancy of about 53 years?!? Isn’t it far more statistically likely that you will live well past age 53? Or does it mean you have about 53 years of life left in you, and that the SSA concludes you will live to be about 75?

    The really scary question (or the question that leads to a scary answer) is, precisely how does this table influence SSA policy? Is the SSA doing its job or picking its nose by concluding that you will live to be about 75? I move 15 years down the same graph and discover that I’m expected to live to about age — OH, MY GOD — 76.

    So, the probability of my dying within a year is based on what? My health? U.S. foreign policy? My Zip code?

    Help a dummy grok the statistical magnificence of the SSA.

  3. Oops. I really am female. I guess I didn’t look at it carefully enough.

  4. I think the life expentancy column is how much longer you have to live, not how much total.

  5. Does anyone know of a table showing how many times I’m likely to hook up in any given year?

  6. Got me thinking. Looked into the death rate in the US. Doesn’t look good. It’s 100%.

  7. Looks like the Feminists win in the end!!! At 114+ years, men and women are finally equal.

  8. As a 28-year old male who doesn’t ride a motorcycle, shoot at other males, sell drugs, drink a fifth of Wild Turkey and go off a poorly tied rope swing down by the river, fight “dune coons” for W, or drink another fifth and play with illegal fireworks on my front porch, I reckon my odds of making it through the year are downright girly. :->

  9. this seems to the the social security admin website. they are basing their projections on a 76 year life expectancy – if we live longer, SS will go bust!

    So, do the patriotic thing, and die when you guys are around 75 🙂

  10. The Life Expectancy thing is confusing, but by scrolling down to the bottom I figured out it’s actually how many MORE years you’re going to live.

  11. The problem with the chart is that it assumes static medical knowledge. My mom, when she was 46, could not contemplate the dialysis that gave her another seven years in her seventies. My dad, at the same age, could not contemplate the pacemaker that would keep him going way past eighty.
    The chart says I have 31 more years. I’m betting that during those 31 years, science finds a way to make that sixty or more years.

  12. Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything . . . Forty percent of all people know that. — Homer Simpson

    My chance of dying next year is either 0%, or it is 100%. Everything else is of interest only to actuaries.

  13. “Happiness goes down the more intelligence goes up. In fact, I made a graph… I make a lot of graphs.” -Lisa Simpson.

    The y axis is logrithmic (not really the ln of the data) , it displays the trend better. Check it out —>

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.