September 11, 2019

A total of 2,813,503 resident deaths were registered in the United States in 2017. The 10 leading causes accounted for 74.0% of all deaths in the United States in 2017. In 2017, the 10 leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide) remained the same as in 2016.

From 2016 to 2017, age-adjusted death rates increased for 7 of 10 leading causes of death and decreased for 1. The rate increased 4.2% for unintentional injuries, 0.7% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, 0.8% for stroke, 2.3% for Alzheimer disease, 2.4% for diabetes, 5.9% for influenza and pneumonia, and 3.7% for suicide. The rate decreased 2.1% for cancer. Rates for heart disease and kidney disease did not change significantly.

The age-adjusted death rate for the total population increased 0.4%, from 728.8 per 100,000 standard population in 2016 to 731.9 in 2017. Age-adjusted death rates increased in 2017 from 2016 for non-Hispanic white males (0.6%) and non-Hispanic white females (0.9%). The age-adjusted death rate decreased for non-Hispanic black females (0.8%). Rates did not change significantly for non-Hispanic black males, Hispanic males, and Hispanic females from 2016 to 2017.

Death rates increased significantly between 2016 and 2017 for age groups 25–34 (2.9%), 35–44 (1.6%), and 85 and over (1.4%). The death rate decreased significantly for age group 45–54 (1.0%). Rates for other age groups did not change significantly between 2016 and 2017.

What Are The Leading Causes Of Infant Death In The United States?

A total of 22,335 deaths occurred in children under age 1 year in the United States in 2017, with an infant mortality rate of 579.3 infant deaths per 100,000 live births.

The infant mortality rate (IMR)—the ratio of infant deaths to live births in a given year—is generally regarded as a good indicator of the overall health of a population. IMR changed from 587.0 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016 to 579.3 in 2017, but this change was not statistically significant.

The 10 leading causes of infant death in 2017 accounted for 67.8% of all infant deaths in the United States. The leading causes remained the same as in 2016 although maternal complications became the third leading cause while sudden infant death syndrome became the fourth, and diseases of the circulatory system became the eighth leading cause while respiratory distress of newborn became the ninth. Causes of infant death are ranked according to number of infant deaths. IMR for unintentional injuries increased 10.7% from 30.9 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016 to 34.2 in 2017. Mortality rates for other leading causes of infant death did not change significantly.

Life Expectancy In The United States

In 2017, life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years for the total U.S. population—a decrease from 78.7 years in 2016. For males, life expectancy changed from 76.2 in 2016 to 76.1 in 2017. For females, life expectancy remained the same at 81.1. Life expectancy for females was consistently higher than it was for males. In 2017, the difference in life expectancy between females and males increased 0.1 year from 4.9 years in 2016 to 5.0 years in 2017.

In 2017, life expectancy at age 65 for the total population was 19.5 years, an increase of 0.1 year from 2016. Life expectancy at age 65 was 20.6 years for females and 18.1 years for males, both unchanged from 2016. The difference in life expectancy at age 65 between females and males was 2.5 years, unchanged from 2016.


If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice lawyers in your U.S. state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.