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Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2003 Mar 14;51(5):1-44.

Deaths: preliminary data for 2001.

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  • 1Division of Vital Statistics, Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, USA.



This report presents preliminary data on deaths for the year 2001 in the United States. U.S. data on deaths are shown by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin. Death rates for 2001 are based on population estimates consistent with the April 1, 2000, census. Data on life expectancy, leading causes of death, infant mortality, and deaths resulting from September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are also presented. For comparison, this report also presents revised final death rates for 2000, based on populations consistent with the April 1, 2000, census.


Data in this report are based on a large number of deaths comprising approximately 98 percent of the demographic file and 92 percent of the medical file for all deaths in the United States in 2001. The records are weighted to independent control counts of infant deaths and deaths 1 year and over received in State vital statistics offices for 2001. Unless otherwise indicated, comparisons are made with final data for 2000. For certain causes of death, preliminary data differ from final data because of the truncated nature of the preliminary file. These are, in particular, accidents, homicides, suicides, and respiratory diseases. Populations were produced for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) under a collaborative arrangement with the U.S. Census Bureau. The populations reflect the results of the 2000 census. This census allowed people to report more than one race for themselves and their household members and also separated the category for Asian or Pacific Islander persons into two groups (Asian and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander). These changes reflect the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) 1997 revisions to the standards for the classification of Federal data on race and ethnicity. Because only one race is currently reported in death certificate data, the 2000 census populations were "bridged" to the single race categories specified in OMB's 1977 guidelines for race and ethnic statistics in Federal reporting, which are still in use in the collection of vital statistics data.


The age-adjusted death rate in 2001 for the United States decreased slightly from 869.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2000 to 855.0 in 2001. For causes of death, declines in age-adjusted death rates occurred for Diseases of heart, Malignant neoplasms, Cerebrovascular diseases, Accidents (unintentional injuries), and Influenza and pneumonia. Age-adjusted death rates also declined for drug-induced deaths between 2000 and 2001. Age-adjusted death rates increased between 2000 and 2001 for the following causes: Alzheimer's disease, Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, and Assault (homicide). The increase in homicide was a direct result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The infant mortality rate did not change between 2000 and 2001. Life expectancy at birth rose by 0.2 years to a record high of 77.2 years.

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