Seemingly so many celebrities have died in 2016 than in years past that many have taken to speculating as to why that is.
Looking back at the four months of 2016, celebrities including actor Alan Rickman, legendary musicians David Bowie, Merle Haggard, and Prince have passed. According to BBC’s obituary editor Nick Serpell, media coverage of celebrity deaths has increased in recent years.
The Daily Telegraph, which keeps an updated gallery of famous people who have passed, lists the number of deaths up to this time in 2014 as 38. In 2015 at this time, the number of deaths listed in their gallery was 30. This year a whopping 75 celebrities have died so far.
Serpell suggests that the reason more celebrity deaths are being reported now than before is because a lot of celebrities are from the Baby Boom generation, or those born between 1946 and 1964. He said:
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“People who started becoming famous in the 1960s are now entering their 70s and are starting to die.
“Over the next 10 years, these people will get into their 80s and it is going to continue at this level.”
In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 23% of the American population, or 76 million people, belonged to that generation.
Serpell hypothesizes that another reason for the seeming increase in famous deaths is that there are more celebrities today than in the past and there are also more ways to hear about them thanks to social media. He continued:
“There are also more famous people than there used to be. In my father or grandfather’s generation, the only famous people really were from cinema — there was no television. Then, if anybody wasn’t on TV, they weren’t famous.”
The good news is that celebrities aren’t being picked off left and right, but we’ll just have to see how the rest of 2016 plays out.