# On Benford’s law.

Benford’s law is a statistical observation. If I remember the story more or less correct, Benford found at some point in time that those old logarithm tables had pages that were far more worn out compared to others. And it seems that people used those old (but at the time very important) tables much more for numbers starting with small digits like 1 or 2 and much less for high leading digits like 8 or 9. The observation was that the probability of a leading digit of d was given by log(1 + 1/d). I remember that during a train ride to the city of Utrecht about two decades ago I found a very simple distribution that gives the Benford law perfectly for numbers written in the usual base 10. Basically if you use a uniform distribution in the exponent, that more or less always gives rise to some approximation of Benford’s law.

A few weeks back for no reason at all, I did a search on the preprint archive on the subject of Benford’s law and a rather strange article popped up. It is written by Kazifumi Ozawa. Title: Continuous Distributions on $(0, \infty)$ Giving Benford’s Law Exactly.