Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Lawler: US Death Rate Up, Life Expectancy Down in 2017

by Bill McBride on 12/05/2018 11:42:00 AM

CR Note: The summary paragraph is key. Demographics are worse than they appeared a few years ago.

From housing economist Tom Lawler: US Death Rate Up, Life Expectancy Down in 2017

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that there were 2,813,503 US deaths in 2017, 69,255 higher than in 2016. The “age-adjusted” death rate (per 100,000) increased to 731,9 in 2017 from 728.8 in 2016, while the estimated life expectancy at birth declined to 78.6 in 2017 from 78.7 in 2016.

Below is a table showing some historical death rates for selected age groups.

What is especially striking about this table is the sharp increase in death rates among 25-44 year old over the last five years.

US Death Rates (deaths per 100,000 population), Total and Selected Age Groups (NCHS)
YrTotal15-2425-3435-4445-5455-64 65-7475-8485+Age Adj.
2000854801011994269922399566715524869
2005828811071954328992110525214982815
2010800681031714078521875479013934747
2011807681051724108491846475313779741
2012810661051714058541803467513679733
2013822651061724068601802464813660732
2013824661081754058701786456413408725
2015824661081754058701786456413408725
2016844751291924068841789447513392729
2017864741331954028861791447313574732

The NCHS also reported that there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, up from 63,632 in 2016. Here is a table showing some historical drug overdose deaths for selected age groups.

Drug Overdose Deaths by Selected Age Groups
Year15-2425-3435-4445-5455-6465+Total
20001,4353,1696,4694,3891,01385417,415
20052,9185,3408,5068,9682,7611,20329,813
20103,5717,5728,54611,2995,4861,72238,329
20113,7628,4459,13011,9336,0601,89241,340
20123,5188,5088,94811,8956,4232,09441,502
20133,6648,9479,32012,0457,5512,34443,982
20143,79810,05510,13412,2638,1222,56847,055
20154,23511,88011,50512,9748,9012,76052,404
20165,37615,44314,18314,77110,6323,07563,632
20175,45517,40015,94915,99611,7473,52970,237

The NCHS did note that provisional data for the first four months of 2018 suggest that drug overdose death rates declined very slightly from last year’s alarmingly high rates.

According to the NCHS, there were 47,143 suicides in the US last year, up from 44,965 in 2016.

US Suicide DeathsUS Drug Overdose Deaths
YearTotalMenWomenTotalMenWomen
199929,19923,4585,74116,84911,2585,591
201644,96534,72710,23863,63241,55822,074
201747,17336,78210,39170,23746,55223,685

The NCHS death data highlight some serious issues facing the US. They also highlight the serious issues associated with the latest medium- and long-term population projections from Census. Below is a table comparing the so-called “Census 2017” Population Projections for deaths compared to the NCHS data.

US Deaths: Census 2017 Projections Vs. Actuals
Census 2017 ProjectionsNCHSCensus Avg.
12 months ended:Calendar YearVs.
6/30/20176/30/2018Average2017NCHS
Total2,688,8022,717,2972,703,0502,813,503-110,454
<139,74139,25039,49622,33517,161
1-1413,78713,68813,7389,5804,158
15-2423,54322,80423,17432,025-8,852
25-3443,98143,34043,66160,215-16,555
35-4462,59961,70562,15279,796-17,644
45-54151,976145,945148,961170,142-21,182
55-64330,420327,584329,002372,006-43,004
65-74493,422500,663497,043531,610-34,568
75-84619,610638,667629,139657,759-28,621
85+909,723923,651916,687878,03538,652

First, there is obvious “mistake” in the Census 2017 projections for “infant” deaths. Second, the Census 2017 death projections for 15-84 year olds for calendar year 2017 (approximated in the above table) were a whopping 170,424 below actual deaths for this broad age group. The Census 2017 death projections for subsequent years have the same “issues,” overstating infant, child, and 85+ deaths and significantly understating likely deaths for all other age groups. These “issues” make the Census 2017 population projections of little use for those who use population projections to forecast key economic variables such as labor force growth, household growth, etc.