The leading cause of death varies by age group and sex. While preventable injuries are the fourth leading cause of death among males, the rank drops to seventh among females.
For infants younger than 1, preventable injuries were the fourth leading cause of death in 2020, 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. Preventable injuries become the third leading cause of death among the 45 to 54 age group and then drop to the fourth leading cause of death among the 55 to 64 age group. 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 1999-2020 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).