U.S. Mortality Statistics

Watched part of the program on U.S. Mortality Statistics. Some stats that stood out on sex and race were:

  • Per 100,000, women have a death rate of 643 and men a death rate of 906.
  • White persons live on average 4.6 years longer than black persons.

Some stats on the improvement of life expectancy since 1940:

  • Of those born in 1940, 60% lived to age 65+
  • Of those born now, 84% are expected to live to age 65+

Lastly, it was interesting to see death due to AIDS explode until the disease was redefined by the CDC in 1993 (also the year of Freddie Mercury’s death) which drastically reduced mortality despite growing incidence rates:

Of course, whenever you talk about death by spewing numbers, the thing which makes death a profound force shaping an individual’s psyche is lost. This numerical delusion is perhaps necessary for the making of sausage in Congress, but is misleading when used for thinking about my own life.

Good source of data: NCHS Data Brief PDF

0 thoughts on “U.S. Mortality Statistics

  1. Joe Kopena

    I would be cautious in using the increase in lifespan/chance of living to 65+. My (limited) understanding is that those figures mask significant differences by demographics—rich white people skew it upward substantially, obscuring minimal changes for other groups. This is part of why it’s unfortunate when people say things like “Lifespan has increased, so we must/can raise the social security retirement age.” when in reality the people that need it are both unable to work much past the current age, and not living appreciably longer than they were previously. I don’t have good references on hand, but you could probably find support for this fairly easily.

    1. Lex Post author

      Good point. Of course, this kind of masking of reality via the use of statistics is the bread and butter of politics and even some disciplines of science to some extent (*cough* sociology *cough*).


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