From housing economist Tom Lawler: US Death Rate Up, Life Expectancy Down in 2017
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that there were 2,813,503 US deaths in 2017, 69,255 higher than in 2016. The “age-adjusted” death rate (per 100,000) increased to 731,9 in 2017 from 728.8 in 2016, while the estimated life expectancy at birth declined to 78.6 in 2017 from 78.7 in 2016.
Below is a table showing some historical death rates for selected age groups.
What is especially striking about this table is the sharp increase in death rates among 25-44 year old over the last five years.
|US Death Rates (deaths per 100,000 population), Total and Selected Age Groups (NCHS)|
The NCHS also reported that there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, up from 63,632 in 2016. Here is a table showing some historical drug overdose deaths for selected age groups.
|Drug Overdose Deaths by Selected Age Groups|
The NCHS did note that provisional data for the first four months of 2018 suggest that drug overdose death rates declined very slightly from last year’s alarmingly high rates.
According to the NCHS, there were 47,143 suicides in the US last year, up from 44,965 in 2016.
|US Suicide Deaths||US Drug Overdose Deaths|
The NCHS death data highlight some serious issues facing the US. They also highlight the serious issues associated with the latest medium- and long-term population projections from Census. Below is a table comparing the so-called “Census 2017” Population Projections for deaths compared to the NCHS data.
|US Deaths: Census 2017 Projections Vs. Actuals|
|Census 2017 Projections||NCHS||Census Avg.|
|12 months ended:||Calendar Year||Vs.|
First, there is obvious “mistake” in the Census 2017 projections for “infant” deaths. Second, the Census 2017 death projections for 15-84 year olds for calendar year 2017 (approximated in the above table) were a whopping 170,424 below actual deaths for this broad age group. The Census 2017 death projections for subsequent years have the same “issues,” overstating infant, child, and 85+ deaths and significantly understating likely deaths for all other age groups. These “issues” make the Census 2017 population projections of little use for those who use population projections to forecast key economic variables such as labor force growth, household growth, etc.