1.7 Million U.S. Facebook Users Will Pass Away in 2018

In 2010 my friends Nathan Lustig and Jesse Davis (founders of Entrustet, which was later acquired by SecureSafe) used data from Facebook and the Centers for Disease Control to estimate the number of Facebook users who would pass away in 2010. They updated these numbers in January 2011 and Nathan updated them again in June 2012. I picked up the task in January 2016 upon the request of a major news organization.

Another recent media query prompted me to revisit these numbers and provide new ones for 2018.

Here are the numbers as reported by Nathan and Jesse:

June 2010


Total 2010 U.S. Facebook Deaths: 385,968

January 2011


Total 2011 U.S. Facebook Deaths: 408,000

June 2012

Total 2012 U.S. Facebook Deaths: 580,000

Note: Nathan posted the total numbers, but did not post a table.

January 2016


Total 2016 U.S. Facebook Deaths: 972,000

My first analysis is from January 2016, where I attempted to follow Nathan and Jesse’s process as closely as possible.

January 2016


Total 2016 U.S. Facebook Deaths: 972,000

Finally, this is my updated table for 2018.

January 2018

Total 2018 U.S. Facebook Deaths: 1.7 Million

Note: 2018 numbers use the latest CDC Multiple Cause-of-Death Data File, which was published in November 2017 and based on 2015 annual data. Facebook user data was obtained via Facebook Ad Manager. Note that Facebook numbers reflect potential advertising reach for and do not reflect the total population of users. The author believes that the potential reach numbers are lower than the actual population, which means these death estimates are conservative numbers.


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