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Arkansas Mortality Rates

Mortality Rates in Arkansas

Mortality Rates in Arkansas

  • Arkansas Population: 3,017,804 (18th lowest)
  • Population Density: 58.25 per square mile (33rd most dense)
  • Median Age:  38.6 (29th oldest)
  • Deaths Per Year:  32,336
  • Annual Deaths Per 100,000: 1,072
  • Life Expectancy at Birth:  75.6
  • Fertility Rate (births per 1,000 women age 15-44): 63.2 (11th highest rate)

Leading Causes of Death in Arkansas

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


8,669 226.5 3rd


6,482 165.7 7th
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)


2,364 60.2 4th


1,561 40.7 13th
Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)


1,527 48 34th
Alzheimer’s Disease


1,507 39.5 8th


1,144 29.8 3rd
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome)


635 16.7 8th
Pneumonia + Flu


623 16.6 3rd


487 12.9 9th
Liver Disease / Cirrhosis


464 12.9 17th


548 18 18th
Drug Overdose


388 13.5 44th


270 9.4 9th

Population Statistics

With 1,072 deaths per 100,000 population, Arkansas’ overall mortality rate is 6th highest in the nation (behind West Virginia, Alabama, Maine, Kentucky, and Mississippi). Adjusted for age, Arkansas’ mortality rate is 7th highest, and Arkansas is tied with Louisiana for 6th shortest life expectancy, at 75.6.

Arkansas has the nation’s 3rd highest marriage rate (behind only Nevada and Hawaii) and 11th highest fertility rate. The state’s infant mortality rate of 6.9 per 1,000 live births is 11th highest in the country.

Health Statistics

Arkansas is among the ten states with the highest rates of multiple health-related causes of death—including heart disease (3rd), cancer (7th), chronic respiratory illnesses (4th), and diabetes (3rd).

Arkansas’ annual rate of pneumonia and flu deaths is typically among the nation’s ten highest.

Arkansas adults have the country’s 3rd highest rates of both smoking (behind West Virginia and Kentucky) and obesity (behind Mississippi and West Virginia).

At IBUSA, we will typically try to help applicants from Arkansas first qualify  for no exam life insurance  when possible, and for those that won’t be able to qualify for such a policy, fully underwritten life insurance policies and guaranteed issue life insurance policies are also available.

Accidental Death Statistics

Of the ten leading causes of death nationally, Arkansas has a rate below the overall national rate in only deaths due to accidents. For 2019, Arkansas’ rate of accidental deaths due to falls was 6th lowest nationally.

Firearms and Homicide

At 9.4 per 100,000, the homicide rate in Arkansas is the nation’s 9th highest—one place behind Maryland. Between 2013 and 2019, the state’s violent crime rate rose by 27%. Arkansas’ overall firearm mortality rate of 19.3 per 100,000 is also 9th

Drug overdose and Alcoholism

With 13.5 drug overdose deaths per 100,000, Arkansas has the 7th lowest rate among U.S. states. Arkansas’ rate of excessive drinking is 6th


Arkansas’ obesity for 2020 was 91.6 per 100,000—18th Through August, 2021, its rate of 209 per 100,000 was 14th highest.


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).

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, Fertility Rates by State (2019).

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

Natl. Safety Council, State Overview Table: 2019 (preventable-injury-related death rates per 100,000 population by state of residence, United States, 2019).

United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2020 Annual Report: Arkansas.

CDC, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, Map of Current Cigarette Use Among Adults (2018).

Statista, Percentage of Adults with Obesity in the United States as of 2019 (2019).

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 (Aug. 4, 2021).

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