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California Mortality Rates

Mortality Rates in California

Mortality Rates in California

  • California Population: 39,512,223 (1st highest)
  • Population Density: 252.4 per square mile (10th most dense)
  • Median Age:  37.3 (11th youngest)
  • Deaths Per Year:  268,818
  • Annual Deaths Per 100,000: 679.6
  • Life Expectancy at Birth:  80.8 years old
  • Fertility Rate (births per 1,000 women age 15-44):  55.4 (9th lowest rate)

Leading Causes of Death in California

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


62,394 136.9 42nd


59,512 131.6 46th
Alzheimer’s Disease


16,859 37 15th


16,851 37.3 24th
Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)


15,116 35.9 49th
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)


13,096 29 46th


9,854 21.8 24th
Pneumonia + Flu


5,664 12.5 26th
Liver Disease / Cirrhosis


5,575 12.5 20th
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome)


4,006 8.8 41st


1,643 3.6 49th


4,436 10.7 46th
Drug Overdose


6,198 15 37th


1,794 4.5 28th

Population Statistics

California has the nation’s 9th lowest fertility rate, and the state’s 6.1% rate of population growth from 2010 to 2019 was slightly below the 6.3% national average.

At 679.6 per 100,000, California’s overall death rate is 4th lowest among U.S. states (behind Utah, Alaska, and Colorado).

California’s age-adjusted rate in 2019 was 2nd lowest (behind only Hawaii), and only Hawaii has a longer average life expectancy than California.

Health Conditions

California is among the states with the ten lowest rates of death due to heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, and kidney disease. California’s rates of deaths due to stroke, Alzheimer’s, and liver disease are above the national average.  For this reason, many residents of California will often be able to qualify for a no medical exam term life insurance policy.

Firearms and Homicide

California’s suicide rate is 5th lowest among U.S. states. California’s rate of deaths resulting from firearms is 7.2 per 100,000—7th lowest among U.S. states. California averages more homicides than any other state annually, but its per capita rate is moderately below the national average.  For this reason some residents will often choose to purchase additional accidental death insurance in addition to a traditional term life insurance policy.


California’s rate of COVID-19 deaths in 2020 was 69.4 per 100,000 (15th lowest). The state’s overall rate through July, 2021, is 18th highest, at 161 per 100,000.


Among all U.S. states, California has the 2nd lowest rate of cigarette use (behind Utah) and 4th lowest obesity rate (behind Colorado, Hawaii, and Massachusetts).


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, 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).

Kaiser Family Foundation, Number of Deaths per 100,000 Population (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 (July 19, 2021).

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).

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