The leading cause of death varies by age group and sex. While preventable injuries are the third leading cause of death among males, the rank drops to sixth among females.
For infants younger than 1, preventable injuries are the third leading cause of death in 2019 (up from the fifth cause of death in 2018), but they climb to the leading cause starting with the 1 to 4 age group all the way through the 35 to 44 age group. Throughout middle age and into older adulthood (45 to 54 and 55 to 64 age groups), preventable injuries become the third leading cause of death.
Natural causes of death become more prevalent and the rank of preventable injury-related deaths drops in older age. Among those in the 65 to 74 and older age groups, preventable injuries drop out of the top five leading causes of death.
- Data Table
Source: National Safety Council analysis of National Center for Health Statistics – Mortality Data for 1999-2019 as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS).