An average life as interpretive dance

Dec 9, 2016

BuzzFeed used interpretive dance to describe the average age of the milestones in our lives, from birth, losing the first tooth, marriage, and death. The data points serve more as background, as a way to provide a timeline of events, and the dancing is the primary focus.

I found myself drawn to the comments on YouTube. Typically a cesspool of idiocy and more idiocy, the comment section in this case might be a good representation for how a (younger) general audience interprets averages. All of the top comments are basically, “I guess I’m not average” and “There’s no way that’s the average. [Insert comparison to self.]”

This of course is because averages are just that. They’re the sum of all individuals divided by the total population, and average values represent one aspect of a range or distribution of things.

So in the case of these average ages, most people either fall below or above instead of right in the middle.

But I digress.

Favorites

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.