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Alaska Mortality Rates

Mortality Rates in Alaska

Mortality Rates in Alaska

  • Alaska Population: 731,545 (3rd lowest)
  • Population Density: 1.28 per square mile (50th most dense)
  • Median Age:  35.3 (3rd youngest)
  • Deaths Per Year:  4,453
  • Annual Deaths Per 100,000: 603.8
  • Life Expectancy at Birth:  78
  • Fertility Rate (births per 1,000 women age 15-44): 68.1 (3rd highest rate)

Leading Causes of Death in Alaska

Cause of Death Deaths Per Year Deaths Per 100,000 National Rank


1,021 146.9 29th
Heart Disease


843 129.7 46th
Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)


434 62.2 10th


210 34.9 28th
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)


202 30.4 44th
Alzheimer’s Disease


128 25.3 37th


111 16.2 46th
Liver Disease / Cirrhosis


110 14.5 10th
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome) 62 10.7 34th


54 8.9 27th
Pneumonia + Flu


45 7.1 49th


210 28.5 2nd
Drug Overdose


132 17.8 31st


78 10.8 7th

Population Statistics and Life Expectancy

Alaska has the 3rd lowest population among U.S. states (behind Wyoming and Vermont), and its population density is by far the lowest.  For this reason, many life insurance applicants who can qualify will often apply for a no medical exam life insurance policy when possible to avoid any long delays with setting up a medical exam which can often be required with a traditional life insurance policy.

At 35.3 years, Alaska has the nation’s 3rd youngest median age (behind Utah and Texas). The state’s average life expectancy at birth is 78 years—consistent with the national figure.

Fertility and Death Rate

Alaska has the 3rd highest fertility rate (behind the Dakotas) and the country’s lowest rates of low birthweight and Caesarian delivery births.

Alaska’s death rate of 603.8 per 100,000 is the nation’s second lowest (behind only Utah). When adjusted for age, Alaska’s rate drops to 16th.

Health Conditions

Alaska’s age-adjusted rates of death due to pneumonia / flu and lower respiratory illnesses are 2nd and 6th lowest among U.S. states, respectively.

Alaska’s rate of death due to liver disease is 10th highest and substantially above the national average.  In cases like these where chirosis of the liver or alcoholism may be a factor, many applicants may find it easier to qualify for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.


Alaska’s rates of homicide and firearm mortality are 7th and 1st highest in the U.S., respectively.  For this reason, we’ll often recommend that many of our applicants consider purchasing an accidental death policy in addition to a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.

Suicide Rates

Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death in Alaska and the leading cause of death for Alaskan youth over age 15. Only Wyoming has a higher suicide rate than Alaska.


Alaska’s rate of COVID-19 deaths is 50 per 100,000 through July, 2021—good for 3rd lowest in the U.S. and less than one-third of the national rate of 184.


With a rate of 14.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, Alaska ranks as the most dangerous state in which to work.


U.S. Dept of Ag., Economic Research Service, https://data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?ID=17827 (citing U.S. Census Bureau, 2019).

Statista, Population Density in the U.S. by Federal States Including District of Columbia in 2020 (2020).

StatsAmerica (Ind. Bus. Research Center), Median Age in 2019.

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, State & Territorial Data (2018 – 2019).

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, Fertility Rates by State (2019).

Kaiser Family Foundation, Number of Deaths per 100,000 Population (2019).

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, Life Expectancy at Birth by State (2018).

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, Stats of the States (2021).

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, Provisional Death Rates for COVID-19 (2020).

New York Times, Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count (July 23, 2021).

George, Kavitha. Early Data Shows Alaska Suicide Rate Stays Constant, Overdose Rates Increase. Alaska Public Media (Dec. 23, 2020).

Natl. Safety Council, Work Deaths by State (2019).

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