U.S. Death Rate 1880-2060

To understand the funeral industry in America, it’s helpful to know certain facts.

First, how did the industry come to be? Death statistics show us the landscape the industry arose out of, which is a big reason for the role it played for a long stretch of time and, consequently, the types of businesses you will likely deal with if you have to go funeral shopping.

Second, where is the industry headed? Death statistics projections are also very interesting, because they show what the new landscape may look like. For people who think about what sort of funeral industry we will have in the coming years, and therefore what types of businesses we may be dealing with, projections are essential.

Being projections, the data for years after 2016 are hypothetical, of course (it takes a couple years to tally up all of the actual numbers); however, certain fixed realities make the projections reliable.

Chief among these realities is the current macro death rate of 100 percent. Unless they emigrate or teleport away, every single person in America is going to die, and will need to be handled by some type of mortuary agency, and for our species death relates closely to age.

In this and related tables, we will see exactly why the projections are reliable.

Through the course of U.S. history, there have been quirks in the data collection process. I hope to tell that story in the future, but for now the thing to know is we don’t have a continual data record of how many people have died. The data are less certain the further we look back in time. Measures of death rate are probably reasonably accurate going back to the end of the nineteenth century, but the actual mortality count is only really reliable after 1932.

Because of these inconsistencies, the data series I am showing start at different times …. but you will get the picture.

To begin this series of data posts, here is a graph of the death rate in the United States from 1880 onward, and below it are the data by year.

U.S. Death Rate per 1,000 population, 1880-1932 actual in death registration area, 1933-2016 actual for entire U.S., 2017-2060 projected.
Year Death Rate
1880 19.80
1890 19.60
1900 17.20
1901 16.40
1902 15.50
1903 15.60
1904 16.40
1905 15.90
1906 15.70
1907 15.90
1908 14.70
1909 14.20
1910 14.70
1911 13.90
1912 13.60
1913 13.80
1914 13.30
1915 13.20
1916 13.80
1917 14.00
1918 18.10
1919 12.90
1920 13.00
1921 11.50
1922 11.70
1923 12.10
1924 11.60
1925 11.70
1926 12.10
1927 11.30
1928 12.00
1929 11.90
1930 11.30
1931 11.10
1932 10.90
1933 10.70
1934 11.10
1935 10.90
1936 11.60
1937 11.30
1938 10.60
1939 10.60
1940 10.80
1941 10.50
1942 10.30
1943 10.90
1944 10.60
1945 10.60
1946 10.00
1947 10.10
1948 9.90
1949 9.70
1950 9.60
1951 9.70
1952 9.60
1953 9.60
1954 9.20
1955 9.30
1956 9.40
1957 9.60
1958 9.50
1959 9.40
1960 9.50
1961 9.30
1962 9.50
1963 9.60
1964 9.40
1965 9.40
1966 9.50
1967 9.40
1968 9.70
1969 9.50
1970 9.50
1971 9.30
1972 9.40
1973 9.30
1974 9.10
1975 8.80
1976 8.80
1977 8.60
1978 8.70
1979 8.50
1980 8.78
1981 8.62
1982 8.52
1983 8.64
1984 8.65
1985 8.77
1986 8.77
1987 8.76
1988 8.87
1989 8.71
1990 8.64
1991 8.58
1992 8.48
1993 8.73
1994 8.66
1995 8.68
1996 8.59
1997 8.49
1998 8.47
1999 8.57
2000 8.54
2001 8.48
2002 8.50
2003 8.44
2004 8.19
2005 8.28
2006 8.13
2007 8.05
2008 8.13
2009 7.95
2010 8.00
2011 8.07
2012 8.10
2013 8.22
2014 8.24
2015 8.44
2016 8.49
2017 8.23
2018 8.27
2019 8.27
2020 8.30
2021 8.34
2022 8.38
2023 8.43
2024 8.49
2025 8.55
2026 8.62
2027 8.70
2028 8.78
2029 8.87
2030 8.97
2031 9.07
2032 9.18
2033 9.28
2034 9.39
2035 9.50
2036 9.60
2037 9.70
2038 9.79
2039 9.88
2040 9.96
2041 10.03
2042 10.09
2043 10.15
2044 10.20
2045 10.23
2046 10.26
2047 10.27
2048 10.28
2049 10.28
2050 10.27
2051 10.25
2052 10.22
2053 10.19
2054 10.15
2055 10.11
2056 10.06
2057 10.01
2058 9.97
2059 9.92
2060 9.87

Sources:

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