Of Death and Statistics

There are all sorts of calculators on the Web, so I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a death risk calculator. Yes, that’s right — now you can calculate the chances that you’ll still be around this time next year. At Death Risk Rankings you can enter your age, gender, and some other variables and get a table or chart showing your risk of dying in the next year. The statistics are based on current mortality data from the U.S. and Europe, but to really understand what the numbers mean you should probably read the Tutorial section. There are also links to other death calculators on the Web, so you can really get a clear idea of what the statistics say about your chances of hanging around. Statistics can’t account for everything, of course — you can get a clean bill of health from your doctor and then get hit by a bus walking out of his office — but it’s an interesting exercise to visit these sites.
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