New Reports Confirm U.S. Life Expectancy Increased while Drug Overdose Deaths Remained Stable in 2022

For Immediate Release: March 21, 2024

Contact: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Communication (301) 458-4800

U.S. life expectancy increased in 2022 following a two-year decline, according to final mortality data released today. The data are featured in two new reports from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Mortality in the United States: 2022” features the first public release of final mortality data for 2022.

The death rate for the entire U.S. population decreased by 9.2% from 879.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2021 to 798.8 in 2022. As a result, life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population increased from 76.4 years in 2021 to 77.5 in 2022.

The 10 leading causes of death in 2022 remained the same as in 2021 although some causes changed rank. Heart disease and cancer remained the top two leading causes. Unintentional injuries overtook COVID-19 as the third leading cause of death. COVID-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in 2022.

A second report released today, “Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2002-2022,” showed that overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled over the past two decades. However, at 32.6 drug overdose deaths per 100,000, the rate did not significantly change between 2021 and 2022. The official number of drug overdose deaths among residents in the United States for 2022 was 107,941.

Other Findings:

  • From 2021 to 2022, the infant mortality rate increased 3.1% from 543.6 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2021 to 560.4 in 2022. Death rates also increased 12.0% for age group 1–4 years and 7.0% for age group 5–14 years.
  • Drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone—like fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol—was mostly stable from 2002 (0.4 deaths per 100,000 standard population) to 2013 (1.0). It then increased through 2022 (22.7), with different rates of change over time.
  • From 2021 to 2022, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine increased 12.3% (from 7.3 to 8.2) and the rate for deaths involving psychostimulants with abuse potential, like methamphetamine, increased 4.0% (from 10.0 to 10.4).
  • The rate of drug overdose deaths involving heroin decreased 35.7% from 2.8 in 2021 to 1.8 in 2022.

The two reports are available on the CDC/NCHS web site at:

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