The Double Life of Howard

Here are some of my evil twin brothers who I have hunted down on the web.

You are probably now dying to know, like I was, just how many Howard Huangs there can possibly be in the United States. Thanks to some pioneering work by William Eric Voss, we can make a rough, but more or less scientific, estimate.

  1. The current population of the U.S., as of October 2, 2003, is estimated to be 292,228,646.
  2. A search for frequency of names shows that 0.006% of the population (17,534 people) have the last name "Huang."
  3. Assuming that half the people are male means there are 8,767 male Huangs in the U.S.
  4. A second search for frequency of names finds that 0.23% of males are named "Howard."
  5. If this percentage holds among the Huangs, then in the United States there must be 20 Howard Huangs!

To put this amazing fact in another perspective, there is one Howard Huang out of every 14,492,753 people. At the current net birth rate of one person every nine seconds, a new Howard Huang is added every 4.16 years.

By now you are probably dying to know estimates for some other famous names. Using this method, there are 2,996 Michael Jordans, 487 George Bushes and 2 Britney Spearses.

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