compareyourlife.com queries historical event data from Wikipedia. In doing so, there are some very interesting statistics to analyse.
Recorded history in Wikipedia is very recent
The graph below shows all the events relating to notable people (documented within Wikipedia) who were alive in the past 2000 years. Unsurprisingly, it follows an exponential curve with the most recent years containing the most events.
If we zoom in on the last ~300 years (see the graph below), you can identify some very important periods in history where event spikes exist.
1776 : Declaration of Independence
1789 : First US President, George Washington
1803 to 1815 : Napoleonic Wars
1861 to 1865 : The American Civil War
1914 to 1918 : World War One
1939 to 1945 : World War Two
Not surprisingly, these are mostly US based events and therefore you can easily guess who edits the English version of Wikipedia the most!
How old are these notable people?
compareyourlife.com calculates the age of each notable person at the time of each Wikipedia event. If we graph all the ages (see the graph below), we can identify when in a person’s lifetime they are they most likely to do something notable enough that it’s recorded within Wikipedia.
You can clearly see that it is most common between the ages of 35 and 55.
But this is over the last 2000 years! What if we focus on events that only took place since 1900? (See the graph below)
You can now see that the range extends to almost 60 years of age. No doubt, this is a representation of the ever-increasing life expectancy due to modern medicine etc…
If we look at the age of people whose events occurred pre 1700 (see the graph below), you can see a stark difference.
Life expectancy was much lower, with most people being between 30 and 40 when a notable event occurred.
There’s a lot more data to analyse, so watch this space for more updates.