A morbid Python script

Comics #493 and #893 involve actuarial tables, which are tables for calculating the probability that someone of a given age will die within a given amount of time.

One evening, when I was feeling morbid, I wrote a Python script to calculate death probabilities for any collection of people: actuary.py (.txt). It takes a list of ages and genders and produces various statistics. Here’s the report for the nine living people who have walked on the moon:

~$ python actuary.py 81m 82m 80m 81m 80m 81m 76m 78m 77m
There is a 5% chance of someone dying within 0.08 years (by 2012).
There is a 50% chance of someone dying within 1.1 years (by 2013).
There is a 95% chance of someone dying within 4.08 years (by 2016).

There is a 5% chance of everyone dying within 10.78 years (by 2023).
There is a 50% chance of everyone dying within 16.12 years (by 2028).
There is a 95% chance of everyone dying within 22.57 years (by 2035).

Probability of all dying in 1.0 year: <0.001%
Probability of a death within 1.0 year: 46.32%

And here’s the table for four of the main stars of the original Star Wars (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hammill, James Earl Jones):

~$ python actuary.py 69m 55f 60m 81m 10
There is a 5%  chance of someone dying within 0.42 years (by 2012).
There is a 50% chance of someone dying within 4.74 years (by 2017).
There is a 95% chance of someone dying within 12.83 years (by 2025).

There is a 5%  chance of everyone dying within 18.17 years (by 2030).
There is a 50% chance of everyone dying within 31.28 years (by 2043).
There is a 95% chance of everyone dying within 42.62 years (by 2055).

Probability of all dying in 10.0 years:   0.272%
Probability of a death within 10.0 years: 85.94%

Of course, these are based on average death rates based only on age and gender. Adding more specific information about the people in question will refine the calculation. For example, I’d guess former astronauts are more likely to be in good health—and have longer life expectancies—than the rest of us.

231 thoughts on “A morbid Python script

  1. Thank you very much., You are a good writer.
    In addition to art that will give you good
    I congratulate you
    Writing is an art that everyone does it. Congratulate you for having this art.
    Your blog is unique

  2. Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.

  3. Ciao, io amo la lettura attraverso il tuo blog, ho voluto lasciare un piccolo commento per sostenere voi e vi auguro una buona continuazione. Vi auguro buona fortuna per tutti i vostri sforzi blogging.

  4. Hi,

    the two files are no longer hosted on the server? actuary.py and actuary.py.txt are missing :S

    Regards,
    Gabriel

  5. Why not write a python script to calculate the probablity of death of the remaining members of Monty Python?

  6. This is a amazing publish ! it was very useful. I look ahead in studying more of your perform. Also, I made sure to save your web page so I can come returning later. I experienced every moment of studying it.

  7. Much of the coaching is in accordance with the industry’s before encounter with low-lead condition rules already in position in Florida, Vermont, Doctor and La.

  8. I don’t know if you will read this but I was reading the comments and saw how many bots / spammers there were that posted here. Depressed by this I decided to write this comment to let you know that I am a flesh and blood human who enjoys your work.

    I’m going to enjoy some Spring and the future, and possibly a sandwich.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>