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Skin Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity

The rate of people getting melanoma of the skin or dying from melanoma of the skin varies by race and ethnicity.

Incidence Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Sex

“Incidence rate” means how many people out of a given number get the disease each year. The graph below shows how many people out of 100,000 got melanoma of the skin each year during the years 1999–2013. The year 2013 is the most recent year for which numbers have been reported. The melanoma of the skin incidence rate is grouped by race and ethnicity.

The graph below shows that in 2013, among men, white men had the highest rate of getting melanoma of the skin, followed by American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN), Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI), and black men. Among women, white women had the highest rate of getting melanoma of the skin, followed by Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and black women.

Line chart showing the changes in melanoma of the skin incidence rates for males of various races and ethnicities.
Line chart showing the changes in melanoma of the skin incidence rates for females of various races and ethnicities.

Sources: CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries and National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.

*Rates are the number of cases per 100,000 persons and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population (19 age groups – Census P25–1130). For more information, see the USCS technical notes.

Race categories are not mutually exclusive from Hispanic origin. Rates are not presented for persons of unknown or other race. Data for specified racial or ethnic populations other than white and black should be interpreted with caution. For more information, see the USCS technical notes.

Data are compiled from cancer registries that meet the data quality criteria for all invasive cancer sites combined for all years, 1999–2013 (covering approximately 92% of the U.S. population). See registry-specific data quality information for all years, 1999–2013. Use caution when comparing incidence and death rates because of potential differences in population coverage.

§Invasive cancer excludes basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin except when these occur on the skin of the genital organs, and in situ cancers except urinary bladder.

Behavior recode for analysis used for 1999–2013 individual years.

Death Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Sex

From 1999–2013, the rate of people dying from melanoma of the skin has varied, depending on their race and ethnicity. The graph below shows that in 2013, among men, white men were more likely to die of melanoma of the skin than any other group, followed by Hispanic, black, and Asian/Pacific Islander men. Among women, white women were more likely to die of melanoma of the skin than any other group, followed by Hispanic, black, and Asian/Pacific Islander women. American Indian/Alaska Native data are not available.

Line chart showing the changes in melanoma of the skin death rates for males of various races and ethnicities.
Line chart showing the changes in melanoma of the skin death rates for females of various races and ethnicities.

*Rates are the number of deaths per 100,000 persons and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population (19 age groups – Census P25–1130). For more information, see the USCS technical notes.

Race categories are not mutually exclusive from Hispanic origin. Rates are not presented for persons of unknown or other race. Data for specified racial or ethnic populations other than white and black should be interpreted with caution. For more information, see the USCS technical notes.

§Data are from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). Data for death rates cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution when comparing incidence and death rates because of potential differences in population coverage.

Rates are suppressed if fewer than 16 cases were reported in a specific category.

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