DefinitionNumber of persons who died from any cause.
NumeratorNumber of persons who died.
DenominatorNumber of persons in population.
Data Interpretation IssuesSince everyone must expire at some point the long-term death rate is 100%. The death rates that are presented here are a ratio of the number of persons who died in a given year, compared with the number who did not. In essence, the all-cause death rate is a measure of the proportion of persons who died in any given year. It may also be thought of as an alternate measure of life expectancy -- the longer we, in the aggregate live -- the fewer of us die each year, and more of us are left alive.
Why Is This Important?The overall death rate of a population reflects the average life expectancy of individuals in that population. The lower the reported death rate, the higher the life expectancy.
How Are We Doing?The Utah 2015 age-adjusted death rate decreased ever so slightly from 2014 and is 709.4. There was a 1.8 percent increase in the death rate from the years 2011-2015, which was preceded by a 4.9 percent decrease in the years 2006-2010. The age-adjusted death rate climbed in 2010 to 692.5 after a continuous five year decline. In the years 2001-2010, the Utah age-adjusted death rates rose above and fell below the state average age-adjusted rate of 735.9. The highest age-adjusted rate in this period was 789.8 in 2003 and the lowest was 680.6 in 2009. The downward trend began in 2003 and continued until it began to rise in 2010.
These data are updated annually.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Utah has experienced lower age-adjusted death rates than the U.S., and this will likely remain the case in 2016. The Utah age-adjusted death rate was 709.4 in 2015 but the U.S rate for 2015 is not yet published. The Utah age-adjusted death rate was 709.5 in 2014 and the U.S. was 724.6, a difference of 2.1 percent. In 2013 the U.S. age-adjusted death rate was 3.4 percent higher than Utah; in 2010, the U.S. age-adjusted rate was 7.85 percent higher than Utah and 17.1 percent higher in 1990. It is interesting to see the gap between the U.S. and Utah decrease through the years.
Factors that contributed to lower death rates in Utah over the past 25 years include healthy lifestyles (especially low rates of tobacco, alcohol, and substance use), lower rates of poverty, and better access to health care. A decrease in death rates across the state comes with certain implications, including increased economic demands on health care systems, including strain on aging services, long-term health care, and assisted living facilities.
What Is Being Done?The UDOH Office of Vital Records and Statistics certifies Utah deaths and maintains records of specific characteristics such as cause of death, age of decedent, and other factors associated, such as firearm, motor vehicle, or drug overdose incidents.