Morbid Math Report

By - July 11, 2013

About a thousand people will die by the time you finish reading this page...

Now that you can easily find almost any statistical measures you want online, it is possible to do all sorts of quick math in order to look at life and death in new ways. Of course, sometimes those new ways do not provide the most pleasant perspectives. It can be an entertaining pastime, however, so here we go. I have put together the following examples of morbid math.

Anti-Romantic Math

About 55 million people die annually, which is an average of about 150,600 deaths daily. Now, if the distribution of deaths is relatively uniform, that means that there are about 150,600 deaths on any given date. About a third of the people in the world are married, and that percentage is likely to be about the same for those who die on any given day. Therefore, if we divide 150,600 by the 3, we get around 50,200 married people dying each day. Divide that number by the 365 days in a year and we arrive at 137. That, if you are following the math, is the number of people who lose their spouse on their anniversary -- each day. Yes, 137 times daily we have the tragic irony of a husband losing his wife or a wife her husband on the date that they were married.

Of course, every one of the 150,600 people who die each day also have a birth date. That means that every day over 400 people die on the same date on which they were born. Oh, and when it is your birthday this year, remember that 150,600 people will die that day as well. Happy birthday! Or should we say happy deathday?

A Crappy Way to Die

Sometimes we just have to guess at the basic data. For example, I could not find statistics online for how much time a person spends sitting on the toilet, but I can guess that it is around ten minutes daily (perhaps I'm underestimating the constipation of humanity, but I'll use this figure until I discover new data). Now, we can divide those 150,600 daily deaths by 144, since there are that many 10-minute periods in a day, and arrive at a figure of 1,041 people dying each day while sitting on the toilet (or while using whatever substitutes there are for a toilet in some parts of the world).

Of course that assumes a fairly random and therefore uniform distribution of deaths throughout the day. Probably death is more likely while awake than while sleeping. Also, the figure is likely to be higher when we consider that the straining involved can cause heart attacks. We'll round our guess off at about 1,200 people per day dying while pooping, which means one has likely died on top of his own excrement in the time it has taken you to read this far.

A Better Way to Die?

People sometimes say that dying during sex is a better way to go, but it might be something of a buzzkill for the surviving partner. It's not easy to find good statistics on how many people die during sexual intercourse. To the extent that such statistics exist the numbers seem likely to be understated due to the embarrassment of the other party. In other words, you might not get that "Died While Doing It" epitaph if she pushes you off and throws some clothes on you before the police arrive.

The statistics I did find on this topic suggest that it is mostly men who die during sex. The estimate is that between 82% and 93% are male. Another interesting statistic is that 75% of those men who die while having intercourse are having it with someone other than their wives, and usually with a younger partner. Dying in an unfamiliar location and after eating and drinking too much are also common factors. Safe sex in this context seems to be staying home with the wife (and perhaps not marrying women that are twenty years younger).

Societal Revenge Killings

Around 6 to 9 people are killed for their crimes each day in the world. The United States is one of the few large countries that still do this, along with Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan (and a few dozen others). China is the biggest killer of criminals. Although nothing but rough estimates exist because of the communist government's refusal to release data, it is suspected that the Chinese kill many more prisoners than the total of 1,700 annual death penalty executions carried out by all the other countries put together. In other words, each Sunday while good Christians sit through a two-and-a-half-hour church service to learn about forgiveness, turning the other cheek and why they should not kill others, another person is executed for the "good of society."

That is our morbid math report for today.

Other Pages

Ponder This

Today's Thought's

Morbid Math