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Sex Distribution, Life Expectancy and Educational Attainment of Comedians

Emil O. W. Kirkegaard


Published: 2017/09/01


A dataset of 1408 comedians was created by scraping the English Wikipedia. Each comedian’s sex was estimated based on gendered English pronouns and gendered categories. Overall, the distribution was 79% male. When examined over time, it was evident that the distribution was changing to become less male dominated. Among those born 1880-1910, 90% were male compared to 61% among those born 1980-1990. 17% of comedians were Jewish, nearly evenly distributed by sex. Comedians born around 1915 were found to live 5.4-10.4 years longer than matched members of the general population. Comedians were found to be highly educated, especially women. Comedians who were members of Scandinavian comedian clubs (n=235) were examined as an independent replication. Of these, 83% were male.

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