Leading Causes of Death
National data on leading causes of death are used to monitor trends, recognize emerging challenges, track the effectiveness of interventions, and make public health decisions that improve and save lives.
Find information about leading causes of death, learn more about trends, and see charts and graphs.
Understanding Leading Causes of Death
Leading cause-of-death data represent the most frequently occurring causes of death among those causes eligible to be ranked.
Certain causes of death – even some that are of great public health importance – are not ranked individually because they are part of a broader category. For example, motor vehicle accidents are included under “unintentional injuries,” and lung cancer is included under “cancer.”
Leading causes of death are always ranked in relationship to one another. This means the rank of a specific cause may change even if its mortality rate has not changed. On the other hand, the ranking can remain the same even if its mortality rate increases or decreases.
Learn more about how causes of death are ranked and how we determine leading causes of death in our report, Deaths: Leading Causes for 2017pdf icon.
Explore interactive charts and maps of death rates in the United States and by state for national leading causes of death.
See the top 15 causes of death for each state.
Use our state-specific map to find cause-of-death statistics for each state.
- Deaths: Leading Causes for 2019pdf icon Supplemental Tablespdf icon (7/26/2021)
- Deaths: Leading Causes for 2018pdf icon Supplemental Tablespdf icon (5/17/2021)
- Deaths: Leading Causes for 2017pdf icon (06/24/2019)
- Deaths: Leading Causes for 2016 pdf icon (7/26/2018)
- Deaths: Leading Causes for 2015 pdf icon (11/27/2017)
- Deaths: Leading Causes for 2014pdf icon (06/30/2016)
- Death Rates by Marital Status for Leading Causes of Death: United States, 2010–2019 pdf icon[PDF – 332 KB]
- Unintentional Injury Death Rates in Rural and Urban Areas: United States, 1999–2017
- Trends in Cancer and Heart Disease Death Rates Among Adults Aged 45–64: United States, 1999–2017pdf icon
- Suicide Rates for Females and Males by Race and Ethnicity: United States, 1999 and 2017
- Dementia Mortality in the United States, 2000–2017 pdf icon
- Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017
- Death Rates Due to Suicide and Homicide Among Persons Aged 10–24: United States, 2000–2017
- Differences Between Rural and Urban Areas in Mortality Rates for the Leading Causes of Infant Death: United States, 2013–2015
- Leading Causes of Death in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Areas — United States, 1999–2014
- Leading Causes of Death Contributing to the Decrease in the Gap in Life Expectancy Between the Black and White Populations in the United States, 1999-2013
Leading Causes of Death, Combined Race and Hispanic Origin, 2015-latest
Detailed mortality tables showing deaths, percent of total deaths, and death rates for the top 15 causes of death overall and by age group, race and Hispanic origin, sex, and state, with separate tables for infants.
Leading Causes of Death, 1999-2015
Detailed mortality tables showing deaths, percent of total deaths, and death rates for the top 15 causes of death overall and by age group, race, Hispanic origin, sex, and state, with separate tables for infants.
WISQARS-Leading Causes of Death Reports
Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System that provides reports on leading causes of death by demographic characteristics and census region or state.
CDC WONDER – Underlying Cause of Death
Interactive, online query tool that contains searchable and customizable tabulated data about leading causes of death
Leading Causes of Death: United States
Age-adjusted death rates for the 10 leading causes of death in the United States beginning with 1999
Age-adjusted Death Rates for Selected Major Causes of Death
Trends in age-adjusted death rates for five selected major causes of death since 1900
Leading Causes of Death, 1900-1998pdf icon
Tables on the leading causes of death in the death registration area for the period 1900-1932 and the United States for the period 1933-1998
Top Five Leading Causes of Death: United States, 1990, 1950, 2000
Number of deaths and age-adjusted death rates for the five leading causes of death in 1900, 1950, and 2000
- WISQARS – Top Ten Leading Causes of Death in the U.S. for ages 1-44 from 1981-2019
- Healthy People 2020: Rural Areas Lag In Achieving Targets For Major Causes Of Deathexternal icon
- Leading Causes of Death in Rural America
- Methods: Datasets and Related Documentation for Mortality Data
- MMWR: Suicide Rates by Industry and Occupation — National Violent Death Reporting System, 32 States