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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 51: Death and Causes of Death

Figure 51. Number of deaths per 100,000 persons 15 to 24 years old, by sex and race: Various years, 1960 to 2001

Number of deaths per 100,000 persons 15 to 24 years old, by sex and race: Various years, 1960 to 2001
NOTE: For the year 1960, Black category includes all races except White. Black and White include persons of Hispanic origin.Rates for 2000 and 2001 were computed using 2000-based postcensal estimates and may differ from previously published estimates.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Vital Statistics of the United States, Vol. II, Mortality, Part A, various years; Monthly Vital Statistics Report, vols. 43, 44, and 45; National Vital Statistics Report, 1999 and 2000.

The majority of deaths of persons 15 to 24 years old can be attributed to behavioral or accidental causes over the past 40 years. Since 1960, deaths by accidents have been the leading cause of death for individuals in both the 5 to 14 and 15 to 24 age groups, with motor vehicle accidents making up a large proportion of these accidental deaths in the 15- to 24-year-old group. Between 1985 and 1990, there was a rapid rise in the homicide rate and a continuing drop in the motor vehicle accident rate among 15- to 24-year-olds. The accidental death rate among both the 5- to 14-year-old group and 15- to 24-year-old group has steadily declined since 1970, while the homicide rate among the 15- to 24-year-old group has likewise steadily declined since 1995. Among 15- to 24-year-olds, the homicide rate for Black males has remained significantly higher than the rate for Black females and White males and females. Deaths resulting from cancer, heart disease, and pneumonia/influenza have shown steady declines since the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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