Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cowboys and Race

Random tidbit I just picked up.  Based on what was said one can infer that 2 out of three cowboys are non-Hispanic white.  The remaining third?  Hispanic and African American.

One third of movies, books, and other stories featuring a single cowboy should have that cowboy be of color.

55.5(repeating)% of stories featuring at least two cowboys should have at least one be of color.

Better than 70 percent of stories with three cowboys should have at least one be of color.

More than 80 percent of stories with four cowboys should have at least one be of color.

Five cowboys means more than 86% chance one or more is a person of color.

We break the 90% barrier at six where there's a 91.2% chance that at least one of the cowboys is of color.

Seven is largely unremarkable in the progression.  (94.1%)

At eight the value is 96%, we can say with ninety five percent confidence that one or more of the cowboys will be of color.  96% confidence actually, but 95% is kind of a standard.  Only one in 20 stories with eight cowboys in them should have an all white cowboy cast.  Less than one in twenty actually.

Random tidbit for anyone writing or reading something with cowboys in it.


  1. This is good info. Better with a chart, though. The chart could have little "Danny-Glover-as-Deets-in-Lonesome-Dove"s on it. Not sure who to use for the Hispanic and White and American Indian cowboys...

  2. This calculation assumes that the races of cowboys are independent of each other. If they prefer to associate with people of their own colour, one would be more likely to see clustering behaviour -- groups that were all-white, all-Hispanic, or all-African-American.

  3. Good point. But I'm pretty sure Hollywood Math doesn't believe in that.