Mortality Resources

Resource Category Topic Type
Deaths Exceed Births in Most of Europe, But Not in the United States
With the increased attention to Europe’s demographic future stimulated by the on-going immigration crisis, we present important new findings about the diminishing number of births compared to deaths in Europe and the United States from our recent article in Population and Development Review. When births fail to keep pace with deaths in a country there is a “natural” decrease in population and a substantial risk of population loss—loss that can often only be avoided by increased migration. Seventeen European nations have more people dying in them than being born, including several of Europe’s most populous countries. In contrast, in the United States, births exceed deaths by a substantial margin. See Figure 1. Our research focuses on the prevalence and dynamics of natural decrease in subareas of Europe and the United States in the first decade of the twenty-first century using counties (United States) or county-equivalents (Europe). We find that 58 percent of the 1,391 counties of Europe had more deaths than births during that period compared to just 28 percent of the 3,137 U.S. counties. Natural decrease is often intermittent at first with deaths exceeding births in some years, but not in others. Later, it becomes more persistent. In Europe, 41 percent of the counties had more deaths than births in every year we studied; 30 percent had it in some years; and in 29 percent births always exceeded deaths. Natural decrease was far less prevalent in the United States, where 11 percent of the counties had natural decrease in each year; 35 percent in some years; and in the majority of counties (53 percent) births always exceeded deaths. See Figure 2.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
Deaths Exceed Births in Record Number of U.S. Counties
In this fact sheet, author Kenneth Johnson examines new data released by the Census Bureau which provide insights into the continuing influence of the Great Recession on U.S. demographic trends. He reports that, for the first time in U.S. history, deaths exceeded births in two entire states: Maine and West Virginia, and a record 36 percent of all U.S.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality, Seniors Publication
Diversity Growing Because Births Far Exceed Deaths Among Minorities, But Not Among Whites
The growing diversity of the U.S. population evident in new Census Bureau estimates reflects two important demographic trends. The minority population is growing and the non-Hispanic white population is not. This interplay of white and minority population change is fueling the growing diversity of the U.S. population. The minority population is growing both because births far exceed deaths and because there is significant immigration. In contrast, growth has been minimal among the non-Hispanic white population because aging has reduced births and increased deaths. The distinctly different demographic trajectories among whites and minorities are driven by the interaction of several key demographic forces. Natural increase (births to deaths) is the major force behind the growing diversity of the U.S. population, though immigration remains important. Although the pace of U.S. population growth is slowing because of the lingering impact of the Great Recession and the aging of the population, the population continues to become more diverse. This will produce a rich tapestry of demographic change in the United States over the next several decades. The importance of natural increase to the growing diversity of the U.S. population is clearly evident among non-Hispanic whites. Currently, whites account for 78 percent of all U.S. deaths, but less than 50 percent of births. In each of last three years, more non-Hispanic whites died than were born. Such natural decrease is without precedent in U.S. history. Between July of 2013 and July of 2014, there were 2,036,000 non-Hispanic white deaths, but only 1,975,000 births. So, deaths exceeded births by 62,000. This gap is wider than last year, when there were 1,980,000 non-Hispanic white births compared to 2,007,000 deaths: a difference of 27,000. The non-Hispanic white population did increase slightly each year, but only because of immigration. The immigration gain was 155,000 between July of 2013 and 2014. So, the non-Hispanic white population grew by just 94,000 (.04 percent). Ironically, non-Hispanic whites are now more dependent on immigration for population increase than any other group. Though non-Hispanic white natural increase may occur again as fertility rates recover from the economic downturn, it is likely to be short-lived because the population is aging rapidly.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
Drug Overdose Rates Are Highest in Places With the Most Economic and Family Distress
The U.S. drug overdose problem has reached epidemic levels, prompting President Trump to declare a public health emergency. Since 2000, 786,781 people in the United States have died from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes, with nearly 40 percent of those deaths occurring in the last three years alone.
Demography Drugs, Family, Mortality, Substance Abuse Publication
Natural Decrease in America: More Coffins than Cradles
This brief summarizes recent regional patterns of natural decrease in the United States. Natural decrease occurs when more deaths than births occur in an area in a given year. The growing incidence of natural decrease has gone largely unnoticed, yet natural decrease is no longer an isolated phenomenon occurring in a few remote corners of the country. Last year, 24 percent of all U.S. counties experienced natural decrease. And, for the first time in U.S. history, deaths now exceed births in an entire state. Author Ken Johnson discusses the implications of natural decrease, as well as the impact of the recent influx of immigrants in some regions of rural and urban America—a phenomenon that is impacting natural increase.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Mortality Publication
Population Growth in New Hispanic Destinations
Natural increase—more births than deaths—is now the major engine of Hispanic population growth in many large metro areas and their suburbs, as well as numerous smaller metropolitan areas and rural communities. Hispanics now account for half of U.S. population growth, and Hispanic population growth is the reason many communities grew instead of declined.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Hispanics, Mortality, Race, Rural, Urban Publication
Rural Soldiers Continue to Account for Disproportionately High Share of U.S. Casualities in Iraq and Afghanistan
When the nation goes to war, all Americans are expected to make sacrifices. Today's rural Americans, however, have fewer job opportunities within their communities, and are joining the military at higher rates. In turn, rural communities are facing military losses in disproportionate numbers to their urban counterparts.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Mortality, Rural, Young Adults Publication
The Changing Faces of New England
New England is growing more slowly than the rest of the nation. The region is becoming more racially diverse, and demographic trends contrast sharply between northern and southern New England and metropolitan and rural areas. New England's population stood at 14,270,000 in July 2006, marking a gain of just 2.5 percent since 2000, less than half the national rate.
Demography, New Hampshire Birth Rates, Demography, Immigration, Migration, Mortality, New England, Race Publication
U.S. Rural Soldiers Account for a Disproportionately High Share of Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan
A study by the Carsey Institute found that among U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, those who are from rural America are dying at a higher rate than those soldiers who are from cities and suburbs. According to U.S. Department of Defense records, rural youth enlist in the military at a higher rate than urban and suburban youth and in all but eight states, soldiers from rural areas make up a disproportionately high share of the casualties.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Mortality, Rural, Young Adults Publication
White Deaths Exceed Births in One-Third of U.S. States
In 2014, deaths among non-Hispanic whites exceeded births in more states than at any time in U.S. history. Seventeen states, home to 121 million residents or roughly 38 percent of the U.S. population, had more deaths than births among non-Hispanic whites (hereafter referred to as whites) in 2014, compared to just four in 2004. When births fail to keep pace with deaths, a region is said to have a “natural decrease” in population, which can only be offset by migration gains. In twelve of the seventeen states with white natural decreases, the white population diminished overall between 2013 and 2014. This research is the first to examine the growing incidence of white natural decrease among U.S. states and to consider its policy implications. Our analysis of the demographic factors that cause white natural decrease suggests that the pace is likely to pick up in the future. Over the last several decades, demographers have noted the growing incidence of natural decrease in the United States.1 More widespread natural decrease results from declining fertility due to the Great Recession, and the aging of the large baby boom cohorts born between 1946 and 1964. This senior population is projected to expand from nearly 15 percent of the total population in 2015 to nearly 24 percent in 2060.2 Much of this aging baby boom population is white, and so white mortality is growing. Together, growing white mortality and the diminishing number of white births increase the likelihood of more white natural decrease. In contrast, births exceed deaths by a considerable margin among the younger Latino population, and the combination of these very different demographic trends is increasing the diversity of the U.S. population.3
Demography Demography, Mortality Publication
With Less Migration, Natural Increase is Now More Important to State Growth
According to Johnson's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the nation continues to experience reduced levels of domestic migration (movement from one state to another) as a result of the economic recession, and natural increases (births versus deaths) are an increasingly important factor in population gains.
Demography Birth Rates, Demography, Migration, Mortality Publication