When you get to a certain age, you realise just how short life can be particularly when you see many of the celebrities you grew up with passing away. Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael and David Bowie are just a few of the notable famous people who are no longer with us. So, are more famous people dying now that ever or is it just down to a particular generation reaching an age where the risk of death is higher?

The answer to this is likely to be complex but we can identify certain inescapable truths. Many of the celebrities that have passed away in recent years were at the height of their fame in the 1980s. Their generation will have been in their 20s or early 30s at this time and this was the decade when TV, video and the music industry really began to develop into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

TV also saw a big expansion with new channels added such as MTV. This was the decade of the global megastar and there were more celebrities than ever.

As we reach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, many of these celebrities will be in their mid to late 60s and some will be in their 70s. According to one scale the annual risk of dying increases from 1 in 1000 between the ages of 45-64 to 1 in 100 between the ages of 65 and 84.

This to some extent explains why we are now losing so many celebrity icons of the 80s.