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Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2011 Dec 29;60(3):1-116.

Deaths: final data for 2009.



This report presents final 2009 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, and trends by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, state of residence, and cause of death.


Information reported on death certificates, which is completed by funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and coroners, is presented in descriptive tabulations. The original records are filed in state registration offices. Statistical information is compiled in a national database through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Causes of death are processed in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision.


In 2009, a total of 2,437,163 deaths were reported in the United States. The age-adjusted death rate was 741.1 deaths per 100,000 standard population, a decrease of 2.3% from the 2008 rate and a record low figure. Life expectancy at birth rose 0.4 years, from 78.1 years in 2008 to a record-high 78.5 years in 2009. Age-specific death rates decreased for age groups: under 1 year, 1-4, 15-24, 55-64, 65-74, and 75-84. The age-specific death rates remained unchanged for age groups 5-14, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, and 85 years and over. The 15 leading causes of death in 2009 remained the same as in 2008. The infant mortality rate decreased 3.3% to a historically low value of 6.39 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009.


The decline of the age-adjusted death rate to a record low value for the United States and the increase in life expectancy to a record high value of 78.5 years are consistent with long-term trends in mortality.

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