Risks of Death

You're much more likely to die from from mundane causes that you don't worry about, than many of the things that worry you most.

Example: SARs. Bird flu. Anthrax. Mad Cow. Chickenpox. Chickenpox? Chickenpox is FAR more likely to kill you than the preceding unlikly illnesses.

Odds of dying is a tricky thing to figure out. At a basic level, your odds can be stated as a general member of the population, ignoring any risk factors. For example, if you're never pregnant, you won't die in childbirth. Also, poor people with no prenatal care are most likely to suffer complications, and thus more likely to die. Much of my work on this site will focus in determining these risk factors are, what the size of these populations are, and refining the numbers to get the best risk numbers possible.

That said, there's still real value in the base numbers: Here's what I have so far.

Odds of Dying
Event Deaths Population Yearly Odds Lifetime Odds Notes
Firework mishaps 5 287 million 1 in 55 million
California Lotto Jackpot win 1 in 41 million Source: California Lotto Website
Throwing heads 25 times in a row on a coin toss 1 in 33.5 million Source: Basic Math (2^25)
Florida Lotto Jackpot win 1 in 23 million Source: Florida Lotto Website
Death by poisonous snakebite 12 287 million 1 in 23 million
Mauled to death by a dog 26 287 million 1 in 10.6 million
Struck and killed by lightning 50 287 million 1 in 5.5 million
Killed by bees 54 287 million 1 in 5 million
Legally Executed by the State 80 287 million 1 in 3.4 million
Mishaps on horseback 97 287 million 1 in 2.8 million
Chickenpox 100 287 million 1 in 2.7 million source: CDC website
Throw heads 20 times in a row 1 in 1 million Source: Math 2^20
Death in childbirth 391 287 million 1 in 700,000 Really need to get a better population number here. How many pregnent people (not births) per year?
Odds of a Royal Flush, 5 card stud 1 in 650,000 From some random website.
Dying while riding a bicycle. 740 287 million 1 in 372,000
Death by Gallstone 2975 287 million 1 in 91,000 Really? That still happens? How awful.
Throw heads 16 times in a row on a coin toss 1 in 65,000 Source: Math. 2^16
Odds of winning California Lotto on 1,000 tickets 1 in 41,000 Source: California Lotto web site, and math.
Hepititus C approx 8,000 287 million 1 in 34,000
Murdered with a gun 10,801 287 million 1 in 25,000
Brain Cancer 12,764 287 million 1 in 21,000 Not just for soap operas. Who knew it was so common?
AIDS 15,245 287 million 1 in 18,000
Breast Cancer 41,100 287 million 1 in 6,600 Men very rarely get breast cancer, so we need to change the pop number
Heads 12 times in a row on a coin flip 1 in 4096
Fatal Flu approx 63,000 287 million 1 in 4,000 This number is controversial. Also, deaths are skewed massivly toward people with compromised immune systems, primarily the elderly.
Lung Cancer 152,000 287 million 1 in 1800 Skewed highly for smokers.
Dying from every cause 2.4 million people 287 million 1 in 113 1 in 1 Everybody dies eventually. Yearly number massively skewed, presumably because of the age of the population.

US Population of 287 million based on 2002 census figures, at nsc site below. Note this seems to ignore the oft-reported 11 million illegals, so that's relevant. Lifetime figures are determined by dividing yearly odds by 77.8, the average life ecspectancy as of 2002, again per the NSC site. I'll get better cites when I have time.

Source for disease odds: http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/lists/deaths.htm
Source for injury odds: http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm
CDC and NCHS data: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm