A while ago someone on the internet was musing, as you do, about how many of the people you might walk past every day could be murders. This question was asked on Reddit and true to form, somebody out there worked out you could walk past more than 1600 murderers in your lifetime, but how accurate is this number and how was it worked out?

The figures assume an average person, not involved in any kind of law enforcement or prison or probation service, etc. It also uses data for the international murder rate so obviously, some places have much higher and some places much lower crime rates which would change the figure. There were two sets of results. One for someone who is not social and doesn’t go out much, and the second result for those who are social.

So taking these elastic numbers and circumstances into account, this is how the figure was worked out.

The international homicide rate is 6.6 murders per 100,000 people. If you are looking for murderer numbers and not the number of homicides, serial killers, and mass murders take the number bring the number down to 5 murders per 100,000 people.

The average international lifespan is 71 years old and if you someone who wasn’t sociable you might go past an average of 10 people a day.

So 71 years x 365 days per year x 10 people per day = 260,000 people you might walk past in a lifetime

260,000 people x 6 murderers per 100,000 people = 15.6 or about 16 murders in a lifetime.

Someone who lives in a large city might pass 1000 people a day, 100 times more people than the unsocial person. Say somebody lives in a big city where they get out all the time and walk by 1000 new people per day. That is 100 times the number of individuals the unsocial person passes, so you multiply the 16 murderers by 100 to get 1600 murders in a lifetime.

This does not take into account the variations in homicide numbers of urban vs. rural or even the various social habits of murders themselves.

There are so many variables for this calculation you could never get a truly accurate number, but it is reasonable t0 assume that is you regularly get out and about in a big city you could pass 1600 murders in your lifetime and never know it.

Featured Image via Fulcrum Consulting

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