The Rule of 87

The frequency of multiple human births follows an apparent statistical "rule of 87." Twin births in the U.S. and European countries happen once in 87 confinements. Triplets are born once in 872 (87x87) or 7,569 confinements, quadruplets once in 873 (87x87x87) or 658,503 and quintuplets once in 874 (87x87x87x87) or 57,289,761. Though the rule cannot be proven for quintuplets, U.S. statistics otherwise follow it remarkably well.

This "Rule of 87" may have been true in the mid-twentieth century, but I'm guessing that the rise of fertility drugs played havoc with it.

I'll also note that the Minnesota Twins won the 1987 World Series. Coincidence?

Life - Mar 6, 1944

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 02, 2020
     Category: Babies | Science

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.
Posted by KDP on 10/02/20 at 08:39 AM
A friend of mine was fond of saying "Figures lie and Liars Figure".
Posted by Steve E. on 10/02/20 at 12:06 PM
I dunno about the specific number 87, but it doesn't seem odd to me that higher powers of multiplets (is that a word?) would occur at higher powers of (un-)likelihood.

Me, I prefer to follow the rule of 5.
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/03/20 at 08:42 AM
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