Objectives: This report presents final 2000 data on U.S. deaths and death rates according to demographic and medical characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, marital status, educational attainment, injury at work, State of residence, and cause of death. Trends and patterns in general mortality, life expectancy, and infant and maternal mortality are also described. A previous report presented preliminary mortality data for 2000.
Methods: In 2000 a total of 2,403,351 deaths were reported in the United States. This report presents descriptive tabulations of information reported on the death certificates. Funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and coroners complete death certificates. Original records are filed in the State registration offices. Statistical information is compiled into a national database through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Causes of death are processed in accordance with the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).
Results: The age-adjusted death rate for the United States in 2000 was 872.0 deaths per 100,000 standard population, a decrease of 1.1 percent from the 1999 rate and a record-low historical figure. Life expectancy at birth rose by 0.2 year to a record high of 76.9 years. Considering all deaths, age-specific death rates rose only for those 45-54 years and declined for a number of age groups including those 1-4 years, 55-64 years, 65-74 years, 75-84 years, and 85 years and over. Fourteen of the 15 leading causes of death are the same for 1999 and 2000. Heart disease and cancer continued to be the leading and second leading causes of death, accounting for over one-half of all deaths when combined. Aortic aneurysm, which was the 15th leading cause of death in 1999, dropped from the list in 2000 and, in its place, Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids is the 15th leading cause of death. The infant mortality rate reached a record low value of 6.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, declining 2.8 percent from the infant mortality rate in 1999 (7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births).
Conclusions: Generally, mortality continued long-term trends. The slight increase in the age-adjusted death rate that was experienced in 1999 reversed itself in accordance to a longer standing decreasing pattern. Life expectancy increased 0.2 years, and the infant mortality rate decreased statistically to a record low 6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, thus maintaining the steady decline that has characterized it for the past four decades.