The Meaning of Life Part VII: Death Credit:

This interactive from New Republic uses the Social Security Administration’s “death master file” to let you search your name — or anyone else’s — among a list of 85 million dead Americans.

That file contains all the retired Social Security numbers in the country — it’s basically a big list of dead people.

The problem, as we’ve written about before, is that some people can be accidentally added that file.

As the author, Paul Ford, points out in New Republic:

In March 2015 the U.S. inspector general’s office announced that it had found 6.5 million people aged 112 or over in the living Social Security database who had yet to find their way into the database of the dead. Meaning there are 6.5 million more opportunities for fraud.

In this interactive, you can see how many times “you” have died, as well as other statistics, like how popular your name is among the dead. The data includes deaths from 1936 to 2013 and only includes names, ages and dates of death. It excludes Social Security numbers.

I searched for myself and it turns out that people with my name have died 22 times, based on this data. Also, I do not appear to be declared dead. (It’s a big load off my mind.)

And the average lifespan of someone with my first name is 64. For my last name, it’s 74. Which means that, at age 32, I am halfway through the life of the average Daniel. Alas.

Where does your name fit in this?

Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who moved to Portland in 2002 and now lives in Unity. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the...