National Vital Statistics System

Potentially Excess Deaths

Potentially excess deaths are calculated by subtracting the expected number of deaths from the observed number of deaths. The expected number refers to the number of deaths that we would see if that state’s death rate was equal to the best-performing states (benchmark states). In this study, we define potentially excess death as a death that occurred in a person 79 years and younger (this is based on the average life expectancy for the total U.S. population, which was nearly 79 years in 2010).


Potentially Excess Deaths from the Five Leading Causes – Exploring eight years of potentially preventable deaths in the United States, 2010–2017external icon

potentially excess deaths dashboard

Potentially excess deaths are defined as deaths that exceed the numbers that would be expected if the death rates of states with the lowest rates occurred across all states.

Page last reviewed: November 6, 2019