The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the life expectancy of Americans fell last year. This is the agency’s official announcement:
Data from the National Vital Statistics System
- Life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2016 was 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2015.
- The age-adjusted death rate decreased by 0.6% from 733.1 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2015 to 728.8 in 2016.
- Age-specific death rates between 2015 and 2016 increased for younger age groups and decreased for older age groups.
- The 10 leading causes of death in 2016 remained the same as in 2015, although unintentional injuries became the third leading cause, while chronic lower respiratory diseases became the fourth.
- The infant mortality rate of 587.0 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016 was not significantly different from the 2015 rate.
- The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2016 remained the same as in 2015.
This report presents final 2016 U.S. mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics. These data provide information on mortality patterns among U.S. residents by variables such as sex, race and ethnicity, and cause of death. Life expectancy estimates, age-specific death rates, age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity and sex, 10 leading causes of death, and 10 leading causes of infant death were analyzed by comparing 2016 and 2015 final data.
In 2016, a total of 2,744,248 resident deaths were registered in the United States—31,618 more deaths than in 2015. From 2015 to 2016, the age-adjusted death rate for the total population decreased 0.6%, but life expectancy at birth decreased 0.1 year. Age-specific death rates between 2015 and 2016 increased for younger age groups and decreased for older age groups. The age-adjusted death rate decreased for non-Hispanic white females and increased for non-Hispanic black males.
The 10 leading causes of death in 2016 remained the same as in 2015, although two causes exchanged ranks. Unintentional injuries, the fourth leading cause in 2015, became the third leading cause in 2016, while chronic lower respiratory diseases, the third leading cause in 2015, became the fourth leading cause in 2016. Age-adjusted death rates decreased for seven leading causes and increased for three. Life expectancy at birth decreased 0.1 year from 78.7 years in 2015 to 78.6 in 2016, largely because of increases in mortality from unintentional injuries, suicide, and Alzheimer’s disease, with unintentional injuries making the largest contribution. This is the second year in a row life expectancy has declined . Changes in death rates at younger ages have a larger impact on life expectancy than changes at older ages. The increases in death rates at the younger ages from 2015 to 2016 resulted in the decrease in life expectancy observed during that period.
In 2016, a total of 23,161 deaths occurred in children under age 1 year, which was 294 fewer infant deaths than in 2015. The leading causes of infant death were the same in 2016 and 2015. The only significant change among the 10 leading causes of infant death was a 7.3% decrease in the IMR for maternal complications.