National Vital Statistics System

Mortality Statistics

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The National Vital Statistics System analyzes ~2.8 million records each year to produce timely and accurate information on death and its causes in the United States.

National-level mortality data help track the characteristics of those who have died, monitor and make decisions about public health challenges, determine life expectancy, and compare death trends with other countries. Learn more

Mortality in the United States, 2020, NCHS Data Brief No. 427

Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021

Age-adjusted death rates for the 10 leading causes of death in 2020: United States, 2019 and 2020
Image of leading causes of death for 2019 and 2020

*COVID-19 became an official cause of death in 2020; rates for 2019 are not applicable.
1Statistically significant increase in age-adjusted death rate from 2019 to 2020 (p < 0.05).
2Statistically significant decrease in age-adjusted death rate from 2019 to 2020 (p < 0.05).
NOTES: A total of 3,383,729 resident deaths were registered in the United States in 2020. The 10 leading causes of death accounted for 74.1% of all deaths in the United States in 2020. Causes of death are ranked according to number of deaths. Rankings for 2019 data are not shown. Data table for Figure 4 includes the number of deaths for leading causes and the percentage of total deaths. Access data table for Figure 4pdf icon.
SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality.