Death Rate Lower for 10th Straight Year in United States

Mar 16, 2011, 11:11

The death rate in the United States continues to decrease - a trend that has now continued for ten straight years. U.S. life expectancy at birth increased to 78.2 years in 2009, up slightly from 78 years in 2008, federal health officials said.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics said the age-adjusted death rate for the U.S. population fell to an all-time low of 741 deaths per 100,000 people in 2009 -- 2.3 percent lower than the 2008 rate.

"Life expectancy was up two-tenths of a year for males -- 75.7 years -- and up one-tenth of a year for females -- 80.6 years, while life expectancy for the U.S. white population increased by two-tenths of a year and life expectancy for black males -- 70.9 years, and females, 77.4 years -- was unchanged in 2009," the report said.

"The gap in life expectancy between the white and black populations was 4.3 years in 2009, two-tenths of a year increase from the gap in 2008 of 4.1 years."

The findings are based on death certificates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

In 2009, deaths from heart disease declined by 3.7 percent, cancer by 1.1 percent, chronic lower respiratory diseases by 4.1 percent, stroke by 4.2 percent, accidents/unintentional injuries by 4.1 percent, Alzheimer's disease by 4.1 percent, diabetes by 4.1 percent, influenza and pneumonia by 4.7 percent, septicemia by 1.8 percent and homicide by 6.8 percent, the report said.

The number of suicides increased from 35,933 in 2008 to 36,547 in 2009 -- a 1.7 percent increase.

Source: UPI