COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

The effect of revised populations on mortality statistics for the United States, 2000

Robert N Anderson, Elizabeth Arias
National Vital Statistics Reports 2003 June 5, 51 (9): 1-24
12795490

OBJECTIVES: This report presents revised mortality statistics for the year 2000 based on April 1, 2000, population figures from the 2000 census. Death rates are presented by race, Hispanic origin, sex, age, and cause of death. Life expectancies are presented by race (white and black), sex, and age. The revised statistics are compared with previously published statistics that used July 1, 2000, postcensal population estimates based on the 1990 census.

METHODS: Data in this report are based on information from all death certificates filed in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. The statistics presented in this report are computed on the basis of two sets of population figures provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. The first set includes July 1, 2000, postcensal population estimates based on the 1990 decennial census. The second set includes April 1, 2000, populations from the 2000 decennial census bridged to single race categories.

RESULTS: Crude death rates were lower for all groups using the April 1, 2000, populations. Age-specific death rates were generally lower for most age groups, except for infants and the very old for which death rates were higher. Age-specific death rates for males were lower for most age groups, except infants and those 75 years and over. For females, with the exception of infants, age-specific death rates were lower. Race-specific pattems by age for the white and black populations were similar to all races combined. For the American Indian population, age-specific death rates were substantially lower for ages under 75 years. For ages 75 years and over, American Indian death rates were dramatically higher. Age-specific death rates for the Asian or Pacific Islander (API) population were higher for ages under 15 years; lower for ages 15-84 years, especially for the 15-34 year age group; and higher for those 85 years and over. For the Hispanic population, age-specific death rates were substantially lower for those age 15-34 years and higher for those age 55 years and over, especially for those age 85 years and over. For the total white and total black populations, the age-adjusted death rate was somewhat higher for males and lower for females. For API the pattern was reversed. For the American Indian and Hispanic populations, age-adjusted death rates were higher for both males and females. For the 15 leading causes of death, age-adjusted death rates based on the April 1, 2000, population figures were lower for heart disease, cancer, chronic liver disease, septicemia, diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, homicide, suicide, and hypertension. Age-adjusted death rates were higher for pneumonitis, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke. Rates were unchanged for influenza and pneumonia and nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis. Life expectancy at birth was higher for the entire population and both the white and black populations using the April 1, 2000, population figures. It was 0.1 year higher for the whole population as well as for the total white and total black populations. For the total male population, life expectancy at birth was 0.1 year higher while it was 0.2 years higher for the female population. The increase in life expectancy at birth was 0.1 year for both sexes within the white and black populations. This observed gain in life expectancy at birth based on the revised population figures is reversed for life expectancy at the oldest age groups for the whole population and for males. A similar pattern is observed for both white and black males; however, the magnitude of the decline in life expectancy at older ages is much greater among black males. Among females of both race groups and the total population, there is either no change or an increase in life expectancy in the oldest age groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Revised death rates and life expectancies are, in many cases, significantly different from previously published mortality statistics calculated using 1990-based postcensal estimates for 2000. Thus, previously published mortality statistics for 2000 using the 1990-based populations will not be comparable to the corresponding statistics that will be published for 2001. The data in this report will provide comparable 2000 data. Efforts are also underway to revise previously published mortality tables for 2000 as well as previously published data for 1991-99.

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