, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 1073–1085 | Cite as

The First Digit 1

  • Tanya Kaushal SrivastavaEmail author


Benford’s Law or The First Digit Law as it is commonly known has been a fascination to many generations. This counter-intuitive law proposes that given a sequence of numbers (usually from a data set like length of rivers, height of mountains, populations of nations or any source of data from real life), the first digit is ‘1’ roughtly 30% of the time. Many mathematical sequences, such as Fibonacci sequences also follow Benford’s Law. Benford’s Law has some interesting applications, especially in fraud detection!


Random numbers unpredictable equidistribution Weyl criterion absorptive property 


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Suggested Reading

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    Aditi Kar, Weyl’s Equidistribution Theorem, Resonance, Vol.8, No.5, pp.30–37, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    S Kunoff, N! has the First Digit Property, The Fibonacci Quarterly, Vol.25, No.4, pp.365–367, 1987.Google Scholar
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    R A Raimi, The First Digit Problem, Scientific American, Vol.221, No.6, pp.109–120, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Sheldon Ross, A First Course in Probability, Pearson Education, Sixth Edition, 2009.Google Scholar
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    L C Washington, Benford’s Law For Fibonacci And Lucas Numbers, The Fibonacci Quarterly, Vol.19, pp.175–177, 1981.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsIndian Institute of Science Education and ResearchMohali (IISER)India

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