Objectives: This report presents final 2006 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant and maternal mortality, and trends by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, marital status, educational attainment, injury at work, state of residence, and cause of death. It also presents more detailed information than previously presented about the mortality experience of the American Indian or Alaska Native and the Asian or Pacific Islander populations.
Methods: Information reported on death certificates, which are completed by funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and coroners, is presented in descriptive tabulations. The original records are filed in state registration offices. Statistical information is compiled in a national database through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Causes of death are processed in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10).
Results: In 2006, a total of 2,426,264 deaths were reported in the United States. The age-adjusted death rate was 776.5 deaths per 100,000 standard population, a decrease of 2.8 percent from the 2005 rate and a record low historical figure. Life expectancy at birth rose 0.3 years, from a revised 2005 value of 77.4 years to a record 77.7 years in 2006. Age-specific death rates increased for those aged 25-34 years but decreased for most other age groups: 5-14 years, 35-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-64 years, 65-74 years, 75-84 years, and 85 years and over. The 15 leading causes of death in 2006 remained the same as in 2005. Heart disease and cancer continued to be the leading and second-leading causes of death, together accounting for almost half of all deaths. The infant mortality rate in 2006 was 6.69 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Conclusions: Mortality patterns in 2006, such as the decline in the age-adjusted death rate to a record historical low, were generally consistent with long-term trends. Life expectancy increased in 2006 from 2005.