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How many famous people will die in 2017?

In 2016 hundreds of famous people died. David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Fidel Castro, Carrie Fisher, Gene Wilder, George Michael, Vera Rubin, and Thomas Schelling, are just a few names on this list. But was 2016 a particularly bad year? Or will 2017 be "worse"?

Many people think that 2016 was particularly bad, but data tells us that it is not an exception. In fact, we should expect more famous people to die in 2017 than in 2016. Why? The answer is simple: because the number of famous people has increased over time.

Of course there are a few caveats you may be considering, such as: who qualifies as famous? Or, is the increasing number of famous people just a consequence of global population growth?

Additional image information: Flickr user Peter Miller, CC BY 2.0

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