Predicting the First Recorded Set of Identical Fingerprints

David Evans, Siobhan Parish


Fingerprints have been used to identify criminals in the UK since the beginning of the 20th century, with 1901 marking the initial development of Scotland Yard’s fingerprint database. Since this time the UK database has continued to grow and now has approximately 7 million sets of fingerprints on record. Sir Francis Galton’s 1982 calculations stated that there is a 1 in 64 billion chance that two fingerprint sets are identical. Using these match probability calculations and the average yearly growth of the database, this paper shows that it will be at least 1,042,277 years before the British database will contain two sets of identical fingerprints. 


Probability/Statistics; Biology; Forensics; Fingerprints

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