Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016, As Written By George RR Martin?

It's been a common meme this year that 2016 has been brutal for people dying, and one I've joked about myself, so I decided to test this theory.
On the whole, I don't buy it. The 2016 deaths were a bit more notable, a bit more numerous, and a bit younger, but they're in the same ballpark. Which shouldn't be a surprise, really - groups as large as "all famous people" obey the rules of statistics pretty well, in general. Here's the results:

2016: 15 people, average age 64

Muhammad Ali Boxer 74
Prince Musician 57
David Bowie Musician 69
Carrie Fisher Actress 60
George Michael Musician 53
Alan Rickman Actor 69
Alan Thicke Actor 69
Janet Reno Attorney General 78
Antonin Scalia Judge 79
Garry Shandling Comedian 66
Rob Ford Mayor 46
Merle Haggard Musician 79
Glenn Frey Musician 67
Anton Yelchin Actor 27
Maurice White Musician 74

2015: 12 people, average age 68
Lemmy Kilmister Musician 70
Jackie Collins Author 77
Roddy Piper Wrestler 61
Moses Malone Basketballer 60
Dusty Rhodes Wrestler 69
Scott Weiland Musician 48
Terry Pratchett Author 66
Ben E. King Musician 76
Wes Craven Director 76
Lesley Gore Musician 68
Bob Simon Journalist 73
Percy Sledge Musician 74

I used Sporcle's quizzes for dead famous people in 2015 and 2016, and then cut out everyone who less than 5% of people recognized(not really famous), who I didn't recognize in their own right(ditto), and who were over 80(old people dying isn't really year-dependant).

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