How Is Probability Used in Real Life?

Probability, or the mathematical chance that something might happen, is used in numerous day-to-day applications, including in weather forecasts. For example, a weather forecast that predicts a 75 percent chance of snow is using probability to communicate that people should be prepared to deal with snowy conditions.

In addition to being used for predicting potential outcomes for things like weather forecasts and political elections, probability is used in several different professional fields. Public health workers can use probability to warn a high-risk population about the danger of contracting a disorder to illness, and example of which would be a cancer charity publishing materials that state that smokers have a certain percent chance of developing lung cancer.

Other fields can use probability in different ways to communicate risk or benefit to clients or the general public, and probability can also be used to help people in non-public-facing professions such as farming and ranching. The automotive insurance industry uses probability based on demographic information to set premiums for their customers. This industry uses demographics such as age, gender and the distance an individual tends to drive to determine how at-risk each individual insurance customer is for getting into a car accident. These demographics are then used in a formula to calculate risk probability.