Objectives: This report presents preliminary data on deaths for the year 2000 in the United States. U.S. data on deaths are shown by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Data on life expectancy, leading causes of death, and infant mortality are also presented.
Methods: Data in this report are based on a large number of deaths comprising more than 94 percent of the demographic file and 85 percent of the medical file for all deaths in the United States in 2000. The records are weighted to independent control counts of infant deaths, and deaths 1 year and over received in State vital statistics offices for 2000. Unless otherwise indicated, comparisons are made with final data for 1999. For certain causes of death, preliminary data differ from final data because of the truncated nature of the preliminary file. These are, in particular, accidents, homicides, suicides, and respiratory diseases.
Results: The age-adjusted death rate in 2000 for the United States decreased slightly from 1999 to a record low in 2000. For causes of death, declines in age-adjusted rates occurred for heart disease, stroke, Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, diabetes, and cancer. Age-adjusted rates for drug-induced deaths, alcohol-induced deaths, and firearm injuries also decreased during 2000. Declines also occurred for homicides, suicides, unintentional injuries, and Chronic lower respiratory diseases although the extent of the declines cannot be precisely assessed based on the preliminary data. Age-adjusted death rates increased between 1999 and 2000 for the following causes: Pneumonitis from solids and liquids, Alzheimer's disease, kidney disease, hypertension, Influenza and pneumonia, and Septicemia. The infant mortality rate for the black population was 4 percent lower, while the rate for the white population decreased (nonsignificantly) by 2 percent. Life expectancy at birth rose by 0.2 years to a record high of 76.9 years.