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|
|Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)
|Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)
|Liver Disease / Cirrhosis
|Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome)||62||10.7||34th|
|Pneumonia + Flu
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.
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 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).
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).