Good News: U.S. Death Rate Resumes Falling
Rose last year as a result of drug overdosing and stalled progress on heart disease
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the mortality rate for Americans had ticked up, breaking the general trend toward falling death rates. The uptick was the result of stalling improvements in cardiac deaths and higher mortality from drug overdosing. Measured as the number of annual deaths per 100,000 Americans, the CDC reports that "the crude death rate for all causes was 899.1 in the first quarter of 2016, which is lower than the rate in the first quarter of 2015 (919.5). The age-adjusted death rate for the first quarter was also lower in 2016 than in 2015 (772.3 and 800.9, respectively)."
In addition, the CDC notes that "the 12-month ending death rate for all causes was 834.9 for the first quarter of 2016, similar to the rate in the same quarter of 2015 (835.4). After age-adjustment, the death rate was 721.5 for the year ending with the first quarter of 2016, lower than the death rate for the year ending with the first quarter of 2015 (731.2)."
As background, keep in mind that in 1900, the annual death rate was 1,700 per 100,000 Americans, falling to 950 per 100,000 by 1960.