The Birth-Age Correlation

October 13, 2009 at 8:44 am 7 comments

stopwatchThe waking epiphany is a widely known phenomena by which a person, rousing from a sleep, has a sudden, intuitive insight into the deeper meaning of something or knowledge of how to solve a complex issue. While I have occasionally experienced this phenomena, most of my epiphanies take place in the shower. Maybe it’s because that it where I really wake up or perhaps it’s just because of the peace and solitude I experience being the only person awake in the house at 5AM.

Whatever the cause, I had another one this weekend. For some reason I was contemplating the certain doom I was facing next month when I crossed the threshold into my 4th decade (that’s 40 to you young whipper-snappers out there). While I was thinking about 40 I realized that my Dad would be turning 70 next year as this year was his 69th birthday.

Then it hit me: my Dad was born in ’40 and I was born in ’69. I was turning 40 the same year my Dad turned 69.

OK, I thought, mere coincidence. Then I tried it with other members of my family. Take my older brother, for instance. He was born 2 years before me in ’67. When I turn 67 he’ll be 69. My son, born in ’98 will turn 69 the year I turn 98 (should I live that long).aging

The birth-age correlation isn’t limited to relations. It applies to any 2 people, relatives, friends, and strangers alike. For example Paul Newman was born in ’25. When I was 25, Paul (rest his soul) was 69.

The only caveat I can think of is when crossing centuries, you have to alter the date accordingly and it becomes increasingly unlikely that both people will be alive to see the ‘event’ take place. When my youngest daughter, born in 2005, turns 69, I’ll be 105. I have my doubts that I’ll live to see that day, but you never know.

If I had a head for numbers, I’d spend more time into figuring out an equation to prove why this correlation occurs. Heck, I’m still trying to figure out a way to turn this new-found knowledge into a bar trick so I can score some free beer.

By briansrapier


Entry filed under: Fun, Informational, Lifestyle, Research, Tips. Tags: , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jessica Dorsett  |  June 29, 2010 at 10:46 am

    alright…im 21 years old and even I can figure this one Your father is 29 years older than you, right? So the idea that when he is a certain age, weather it be your birth year or what have you, he will always be 29 years older, just like he was when you were born.. we have numbers that go from 1 to 10, so its inevitble that we run across a pattern of some sort… and yes, when you are 40 when he was born in 1940, because he is 29 years older he will be 69…and the year you were born.. its simple really… not really much of an epiphany..but kind of coincidental none the less

    • 2. briansrapier  |  June 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm

      Actually, I am more interested in proving the pattern mathematically. And this is a pattern that occurs with any two individuals; it doesn’t have to be a parent or even a relation of any sort. That means this is not just an odd coincidence but more a certainty.

  • 3. Masquerouge  |  January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    So if person a is born in year x, and person b born in year x+y, then you are surprised that when person b turns x years old, person a turns x+y?
    Seems straightforward enough. By definition a is y years older than b.
    Or, with numbers:
    (in case of me and my father)

  • 4. MBR  |  January 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Here’s a proof that the birth-age correlation always works:

    Let X and Y be the last two digits of the birth years of person A and B respectively. Without loss of generality, suppose they were born in the 20th century. Then the year A turns age Y is X + Y + 1900. The year B turns age X is also X + Y + 1900. QED.

  • 5. Brian  |  January 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Hey, saw this posted on reddit and just wanted post what I posted under reddit:

    Let all years here (including current year ‘z’) be defined as the amount of years since 1900, which I think fits with how the author wrote it also. Ok, let Brett be older than Ann. Thus, we can say Brett was born year ‘y’ Ann was born year ‘x+y.’ If the current year is ‘z’ Brett is z-y years old and Ann is z-y-x years old. When Ann’s age is equal to the year Brett is born z-x-y=x which means z=2y+x, and Brett’s age is z-y-x=2y-x-y-x=y, the year Brett was born.

  • 6. Robert Kern  |  January 4, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    It’s due to the commutativity of addition. 69 + 40 = 40 + 69. 69 years after your father’s birth in ’40 is 40 years after your birth in ’69.

  • 7. jph  |  January 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    At least you admit you don’t have a head for numbers. Turning 40 is the threshold into your 5th decade (ages 0-9 was your first).


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