Statistics visualisation group Flowing Data has run simulations playing with the probabilities of when you will die, and what will likely be the cause of your death.
The interactive simulations are based on data from the Underlying cause of Death database maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and statistics surrounding the ages of death for men and women.
in the first simulation – what is most likely to be the cause of your death – the CDC data is put into an umbrella of 20 categories, using international data from the World Health Organization.
The simulation shows the probability (in percent) of you dying from the any given cause of death category based on age, race and gender.
For example, from birth, perinatal and congenital issues are the biggest cause of death in the first year.
After that, the chances of death from diseases are slim, with external causes being the greatest threat – before cancer and circulatory issues become a greater risk by 50.
For 50 years old and above, cancer and circulatory issues remain the greatest risk.
In the second simulation, Flowing Data tracks the likelihood of you living a given number of years, based on age and gender.
The simulation runs possible lifetimes, based on statistics around the ages of death from the same population group.
Depending on where your starting point is (based on age), it gives the probability of you living for a given number of years.
Logically, the probability that you live to the next year decreases as you age.
More than 99% of people under the age of 60 live to see the next year, but the probability shifts towards zero relatively rapidly after that, according to the site.
For instance, a 28 year old male has around a 55% chance of living for another 50 or more years, while a 40 year old female has a 38% chance of either hitting 90 or a 31% chance of only making it to 80.
The data used by the site is very focused on the United States (with an overall life expectancy of 79 years); in a South African context, the average life expectancy is 67.
However, the simulation shows the probabilities for anyone who has adequate access to healthcare and can meet an American standard of living.