35 Years of American Death

This map created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation consolidates the data from each state in the US to show the mortality rates, the causes of death, and other statistics relating to mortality in America from 1980 to 2014.

Creating such a model would be a difficult task considering the data being used to base insights and analyses contain unknown causes of death in which case, they opt to put “garbage codes” or vague and generic causes of death. With the Institute’s statistical model, they have sought to remove these.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation designed a statistical model that uses demographic and epidemiological data to assign more specific causes of death to the records containing garbage codes in the National Vital Statistics System, which gathers death records (and other information such as births) from state and local jurisdictions into a national database. 

The institute also age-standardized the data so that places with larger populations of older people, who die at higher rates, do not have inflated numbers. The result is a set of more complete estimates of mortality across the country, one revealing regional and local variations in causes of death.

More of this on Five Thirty Eight.

(Image credit: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)

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