Facts and figures from the 2009 almanac of American death, part 1

December 20, 2012

Earlier today, I wrote about different ways that Americans die, with a focus on what role guns play compared to other causes of death.

The report, Deaths: Final Data for 2009, spans 119 pages and is supplemented by 11 pages of additional tables. As noted, it slices and dices the data in multiple ways.

I’ve selected some additional facts and figures from this almanac of American death, chosen simply because I found them interesting. Because this information can be difficult for readers to digest in bulk, I’ll put up at least one more post featuring excerpts from these Centers for Disease Control publications in coming days.

On with the fatality facts:

• In 2009, 10.2 Americans out of every 100,000 were killed by firearms, whether by suicide, homicide or accident. From 1999 through 2009, the rate ranged from 10.1 to 10.5. These rates, like other gunshot fatality rates, have varied only slightly over the previous decade.

• Men were far more likely to be killed by guns — the rate was 17.2 per 100,000 for them vs. 2.8 for women. Men die by firearm at a significantly higher frequency than women regardless of race.

• There were 9.4 gun deaths per 100,000 white residents, including 16 per 100,000 white men and 2.8 per 100,000 white women. This is the second-highest gun death rate of any racial group.

• For every 100,000 black men, 34.2 were killed by firearms, compared to rates of 3.5 for black women and 18.2 for all black residents.

• Murder accounted for 5.5 deaths per 100,000 people. As with gunshot deaths, men are murdered more frequently than women: 8.7 men were slain per 100,000 residents against 2.4 women.

• Blacks suffered the highest homicide rate: 19.2 overall, including 34.2 men and 5.4 women.

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