Saturday, July 2, 2011

Logarithmic Distribution of Leading Numbers in any Data??

This is unusual.

Benfor'ds Law, also called the first-digit law, states that in lists of numbers from many (but not all) real-life sources of data, the leading digit is distributed in a specific, non-uniform way. According to this law, the first digit is 1 about 30% of the time, and larger digits occur as the leading digit with lower and lower frequency, to the point where 9 as a first digit occurs less than 5% of the time. This distribution of first digits is the same as the widths of gridlines on the logarithmic scale.

The shape isn't surprising, given that a lot of stuff follows a bell if the sample is big enough. But 1's have the highest frequency.

Why would that be?


  1. Its used to check for accounting fraud: