We're seeing lots of people on social media exasperated about how terrible a year 2016 has been. I'm not sure how true that is compared to other years, but clearly some people can't wait for 2016 to end and for 2017 to begin. Maybe that's due to the hotly contested election season or to the seemingly large number of celebrities and other noteworthy people who died in 2016.
We've not done any statistical analysis to see if 2016 was worse for celebrity deaths than other years because it's impossible to do so accurately apart from sheer numbers. How do you assign value or weight to the magnitude of someone's death — or their life? What makes one person more famous or noteworthy or iconic than someone else? It's all subjective.
In an effort to capture some sense of what many are feeling, we put together an infographic timeline of notable deaths that occurred in 2016. To be sure, there are a lot of big names who made huge impacts in their chosen fields and who touched the lives of others on a grand scale.
A couple of general observations about the timeline:
1. The beginning and end of 2016 saw more deaths than the middle of the year — based on the people we judged to be the most noteworthy.
2. The 1980s took a particularly heavy blow this year with many historic figures from that era passing away — Nancy Reagan, Prince, George Michael and Carrie Fisher to name just a few.
This infographic is part of a continuing series that presents information as accurately, objectively and impartially as possible. This series of information graphics will always reveal the sources used so readers can see the data for themselves and reach their own conclusions about what these graphics reveal. We encourage you to weigh information from multiple outlets in order to make informed judgments about the subjects featured in these infographics .
Click here to find out more about the impetus for this series.