Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Division of Cancer
Prevention and Control
4770 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30341
TTY: (888) 232-6348
United States Cancer Statistics (USCS)
Technical Notes: Statistical Methods: Incidence and Death Rates
Crude rates are helpful in determining the cancer burden and specific needs for services for a given population, compared with another population, regardless of size. Crude rates are calculated as follows
Crude and age-specific incidence rates equal the total number of new cancer cases diagnosed in a specific year in the population category of interest, divided by the at-risk population for that category and multiplied by 100,000 (cancers by primary site) or by 1 million (ICCC groupings of childhood cancers).
Crude and and age-specific death rates equal the total number of cancer deaths during a specific year in the population category of interest, divided by the at-risk population for that category and multiplied by 100,000.
Crude Rates vs. Age-Adjusted Rates
2000 U.S. Standard Population Age Groups
The 2000 U.S. standard population weights used for this report are based on single years of age from the Census P25-1130 series estimates of the 2000 U.S. population. Populations for single years of age are summed to form the 5-year age groups. These standard weights are used to compute age-adjusted incidence and death rates by the method of direct standardization as implemented in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) SEER*Stat software.
Ideally, crude, age-adjusted, and age-specific rates are used to plan for population-based cancer prevention and control interventions.2
1Anderson RN, Rosenberg HM. Report of the Second Workshop on Age Adjustment. Vital and Health Statistics, Series 4 1998;(30):I–VI, 1–37.
2Anderson RN, Rosenberg HM. Age standardization of death rates: implementation of the year 2000 standard. National Vital Statistics Reports 1998;47(3):1–16, 20.
Page last reviewed: December 18, 2012
Page last updated: December 4, 2008
Content source: Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion