Between 1912 and 2021, public preventable injury-related death rates declined 52%, from 30 to 14.3 per 100,000 population (after adjusting for the 1948 change in classification), respectively. Unintentional deaths in public places exclude deaths and injuries involving motor vehicles and people at work or at home.
In 1912, an estimated 28,000 to 30,000 people died from public injuries. In 2021, with triple the population and travel and recreational activity greatly increased, 47,300 people died from public unintentional injuries, and 16.6 million people suffered injuries serious enough to consult a medical professional.
Preventable Injuries and Injury-Related Deaths
in Public Places, 2021
Death rate per 100,000 population
In 2021, the number of public preventable injury-related deaths was up 10.5% from the 2020 total of 42,800. The 2021 death rate per 100,000 population increased 10.0%, from 13.0 in 2019 to 14.3.
- Data Table
With an estimated 16.6 million medically consulted preventable injuries occurring in public places and a population of more than 332 million people, on average about 1 person in 20 experienced such an injury in 2021.
The two leading causes of preventable injury-related deaths in public places are poisoning and falls, accounting for about 18,900 and 14,700, respectively. These two causes alone account for 71% of public deaths. The next two leading causes of death are drowning and choking, each accounting for 6% or fewer of public deaths. No other cause accounted for more than 1% of public deaths.
- Data Table
Source: National Safety Council (NSC) estimates based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and state vital statistics departments.