QuickStats: Death Rates from Unintentional Falls Among Persons Aged ≥65 Years, by Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1999–2020

September 23, 2022

During 1999–2020, death rates from unintentional falls among persons aged ≥65 years increased among all age groups.

The largest increase occurred among persons aged ≥85 years, from 110.2 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 291.5 in 2020. Among persons aged 75–84 years, the rate increased from 31.5 to 67.9, and among those aged 65–74 years, the rate increased from 9.0 to 18.2.

Throughout the period, rates were highest among persons aged ≥85 years, followed by rates among persons aged 75–84 years, and were lowest among persons aged 65–74 years.

Source: National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm


QuickStats: Percentage Distribution of Deaths Involving Injuries from Recreational and Nonrecreational Use of Watercraft, by Month — United States, 2018–2020

May 27, 2022

During 2018–2020, 1,508 deaths occurred involving injuries from recreational and nonrecreational use of watercraft.

The percentage of deaths each month ranged from 3.0% in December to 16.6% in July. Most deaths (68.6%) occurred during May–September.

Source: National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm


QuickStats: Rate of Deaths Attributed to Unintentional Injury from Fire or Flames, by Sex and Urban-Rural Status — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2020

April 8, 2022

In 2020, the death rate attributed to unintentional injury from fire or flames was higher in rural areas than in urban areas for females and males.

The rate for females was 1.4 per 100,000 in rural areas and 0.6 in urban areas.

The rate for males was 2.4 per 100,000 in rural areas and 0.9 in urban areas.

Males had higher death rates than females in both rural and urban areas.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm


QuickStats: Rate of Unintentional Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Deaths Among Persons Aged ≤19 Years, by Age Group and Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2018–2020

March 18, 2022

During 2018–2020, death rates for unintentional traumatic brain injury among persons aged ≤19 years were higher for males than for females in each age group.

Rates were highest for males (6.1 per 100,000) and females (2.9) among persons aged 15–19 years.

Rates were lowest for males and females aged 5–9 years (1.1 and 0.8, respectively) and for males and females aged 10–14 years (1.3 and 0.8, respectively).

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm


Q & A with Author: Rural-urban Differences in Unintentional Injury Death Rates Among Children Aged 0-17: United States, 2018-2019

October 27, 2021

DB421_fig1Questions for Matthew Garnett, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Rural-urban Differences in Unintentional Injury Death Rates Among Children Aged 0-17: United States, 2018-2019.”

Q: Can you describe what unintentional injury deaths are?

MG: Unintentional injury deaths include fatal injuries that were unintended, unplanned, and did not occur on purpose. In contrast, intentional injuries include homicide or assault and suicide or self-harm. Unintentional injury deaths include a wide array of mechanisms, with the four most common being: poisoning, motor vehicle crashes, drowning, and falls.

Q: How did the data vary by age groups?

MG: Rates of unintentional injury deaths differ across age groups. In both urban and rural areas, unintentional injury death rates were highest among children aged under 1 year, followed by a decline in the 1–4 and 5–13 age groups, and then increasing in the 14–17 group. Although this pattern was seen in both urban and rural areas, rural rates were consistently higher than urban rates for all age groups.

The high rates experienced among children under the age of 1 year were driven by high rates of suffocation (includes choking, asphyxiation, and strangulation). Among children aged 1-4 years, the leading mechanisms diverged based on urban-rural status, with drowning being the leading mechanism in urban areas, and with both drowning and motor vehicle traffic being the leading mechanism among in rural areas. In the older age groups, including those aged 5-13 and 14-17, motor vehicle traffic was the leading mechanism.

The decrease in overall rates from the under 1 year group to the 1-4 age group can be explained by a lower suffocation rates, which decreased from 24.9 in urban areas and 42.1 in rural areas among children under 1, to 0.7 and 1.1, respectively, in the 1-4 age group. The increase in overall rates between the 5-13 and 14-17 age groups is partially due to the increase in motor vehicle traffic rates, which increased from 1.5 in urban areas and 3.1 in rural areas among the 3-13 age group to 5.1 and 12.5, respectively, in the 14-17 age group.

Q: Do you have trend data that goes further back than 2018?

MG: This information is not presented in the report, but additional national data is available through CDC’s query system – CDC WONDER. Since 1999, rates of unintentional injury death among children aged 0-17 years have decreased from a high of 12.7 (per 100,000 population) in 1999 to 7.2 in 2019, a 43% decrease. Decreases were seen both in urban and rural areas. In urban areas the rate decreased from 11.0 in 1999 to 6.4 in 2019, a 42% decrease. In rural areas, the rate decreased from 21.5 in 1999 to 12.7 in 2019, a decrease of 41%. The unintentional injury death rate has decreased among children in both areas between 1999 and 2019; however, the gap between urban and rural rates has been maintained over time.

Rates of Unintentional Injury Death Among Children Aged 0-17 Years by Urban-rural Status, United States, 1999-2019



Rate per 100,000


Rate per 100,000


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NOTES: Unintentional injury deaths are identified using International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision underlying cause-of-death codes V01–X59 or Y85–Y86. The decedent’s county of residence was classified as urban or rural based on the 2013 NCHS Urban–Rural Classification Scheme for Counties. Rates shown are crude rates (deaths per 100,000).

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality.

Q: What is the main takeaway message here?

MG: There are two main takeaways here. The first is that when discussing unintentional injury deaths, there are disparities for children between urban and rural areas. These disparities are found across age groups, and across multiple injury mechanisms.

The second takeaway is that the reasons for unintentional injury deaths change with age. Among the youngest children, under 1 year of age, suffocation is the leading mechanism of death, with the highest rate of any mechanism for both urban and rural children across all age groups. Among slightly older children aged 1-4 years, the leading mechanism becomes motor vehicle traffic and drowning. After this age group, the mechanism with the highest rates is motor vehicle traffic for children aged 5-13 and 14-17. For all of these leading mechanisms, rates were higher for children in rural areas.

Q: What are the reasons why unintentional injury death rates are higher in rural vs. urban areas?

MG: Data from this report suggests that different mechanisms drive the overall unintentional injury rate for each age group. Urban-rural disparities between mechanisms provide insight into the larger disparities seen in the overall unintentional rates. For example, among children under the age of 1, the rural rate of deaths involving suffocation were significantly higher (42.1 per 100,000 population) than urban rates (24.9). For that age group, suffocation was a major driver of disparity seen in the total unintentional injury death rate, which was 48.8 for rural areas and 29.3 for urban areas.

Among children aged 1-4, all reportable mechanisms show significantly higher rates among children in rural areas compared to children in urban areas. For some mechanisms, these disparities are smaller, such as natural or environmental deaths where the rural rate was 0.5 compared to the urban rate of 0.3. In other mechanisms the disparity is larger, such as for deaths involving fire or flames, where the rural rate was 1.7 compared to the urban rate of 0.4, more than 4 times higher.  

Among children aged 5-13 and 14-17, not all mechanisms show a significant disparity. However, some of the largest drivers of the overall unintentional death rate (that is, mechanisms with a larger number of deaths) for each group did. For example, motor vehicle traffic death rates were twice as high in rural areas compared to urban areas for both age groups. 

This data brief does not get into the specific reasons for disparities within specific mechanisms. However, there is a wide body of research that has associated urban-rural differences in injury mortality to a variety of factors. These include differences in types of activities undertaken by children living in rural and urban areas and the built environments that they undertake these activities in. Studies have also suggested that differences in patterns of safety equipment use and the practice of safety-related behaviors may play a role in differing mortality rates. Access to care has also been pointed to as an issue, when considering first responder response times in rural settings compared to urban settings, and access to medical facilities, including high level trauma care. The introduction to the report cites several of these studies.

Additional information on unintentional injuries, and strategies to address unintentional injuries are available from the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

QuickStats: Injury Deaths as a Percentage of Total Deaths, by Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2019

August 6, 2021


Injuries accounted for the majority of deaths among persons aged 15–39 years, with the highest percentages among those aged 15–19 (76.0%) and 20–24 years (78.2%).

The percentage of injury deaths was lowest among those aged <1 year (7.9%), 60–64 years (7.5%), and ≥65 years (3.4%).

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm


QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Death Rates for Males Aged 15–44 Years, by the Five Leading Causes of Death — United States, 1999 and 2014

August 12, 2016

The age-adjusted death rate for males aged 15–44 years was 10% lower in 2014 (156.6 per 100,000 population) than in 1999 (174.1).

Among the five leading causes of death, the age-adjusted rates for three were lower in 2014 than in 1999: cancer (from 17.1 to 12.8; 25% decline), heart disease (20.1 to 17.0; 15% decline), and homicide (15.7 to 13.8; 12% decline).

The age-adjusted death rates for two of the five causes were higher in 2014 than in 1999: suicide (20.1 to 22.5; 12% increase), and unintentional injuries (from 48.7 to 51.0; 5% increase).


Most dangerous states to be riding in a car this holiday weekend

November 25, 2009

Are you driving to your Thanksgiving dinner this weekend? Beware that your risk while rolling down the highway may be higher or lower depending on the state in which you are traveling. When it comes to dying in a car accident, some states are more deadly than others, and the ones at the top may surprise you. See the chart, Car Occupant Fatalities by State, 2006, below:

Increase in poisonings from opioid painkillers

October 1, 2009

NCHS recently released the report titled “Increase in Fatal Poisonings Involving Opioid Analgesics in the United States, 1999-2006.” This report shows the explosion of fatal poisonings from opioid painkillers over the past 7 years. For example, from 1999 through 2006, the number of fatal poisonings involving opioid analgesics more than tripled from 4,000 to 13,800 deaths. Opioid analgesics were involved in almost 40% of all poisoning deaths in 2006.The differences among states is also striking:

Age-adjusted death rates for poisonings involving opioid analgesics: Comparison of state and U.S. rates: United Stats, 2006

For more information, visit the report at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db22.htm.

Unintentional Injuries and Death

April 19, 2007

Every week the NCHS contributes a feathure called QuickStats to the CDC professional journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). For the week of April 6, 2007 the feature was entitled Percentage Change in Death Rates for the Leading Causes of Unintentional Injury, by Mechanism of Injury — United States, 1999–2004.

During 1999–2004, age-adjusted unintentional injury death rates increased 6.8%, from 35.3 per 100,000 population to 37.7. This increase was attributed primarily to increases in rates from motorcycle crashes, poisoning (including unintentional drug overdose), and falls. Similar but smaller increases were observed for these causes in 2003, thus the upward trend continued in 2004.