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Pennsylvania Mortality Rates

Mortality in Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Population: 12,801,989 (5th highest)
  • Population Density: 285.73 per square mile (9th most dense)
  • Median Age:  40.9 (8th oldest)
  • Deaths Per Year:  134,702
  • Annual Deaths Per 100,000: 1,051.8
  • Life Expectancy at Birth: 78.1
  • Fertility Rate (births per 1,000 women age 15-44):  56.3 (12th lowest rate)

Leading Causes of Death in Pennsylvania

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


32,299 172.9 15th


27,746 153.5 17th
Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)


8,596 61.2 12th


6,658 35.3 26th
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)


6,341 34.2 38th
Alzheimer’s Disease


4,150 21.2 44th


3,654 20.4 30th
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome)


2,975 16 13th
Pneumonia + Flu


2,483 13.4 17th


2,285 12.6 10th
Liver Disease / Cirrhosis


1,479 8.7 46th


1,896 14.1 37th
Drug Overdose


4,377 35.6 5th


722 6.1 19th

Population Statistics

Pennsylvania has the nation’s 5th largest population and 9th highest population density. Between 2010 and 2019, Pennsylvania’s population grew at a rate of 0.8%, which was the nation’s 8th lowest rate.

With a median age of 40.9 years, Pennsylvania is the nation’s 8th oldest state, and Pennsylvania’s fertility rate is the nation’s 12th

Pennsylvania’s overall mortality rate of 1,051.8 deaths per 100,000 population is the 8th highest rate among U.S. states. When adjusted for population age, Pennsylvania’s mortality rate is 19th highest and still well-above the national rate.

Heath Conditions

Pennsylvania has the nation’s 5th and 6th lowest rates of death due to liver disease and Alzheimer’s, respectively, and is 9th lowest for hypertension. Pennsylvania’s rates of mortality due to heart disease, kidney disease, and septicemia (blood poisoning illnesses) are well-above the overall rates nationally.

For these reasons and more, we here at IBUSA will typically try to help applicants from Pennsylvania first qualify  for term life insurance with no exam.

For those that won’t be able to qualify for such a policy, getting life insurance with a top company requiring a medical exam is still a viable option.

Finally, some people with pre-existing conditions may need to consider final expense insurance as an alternative.

Homicide, Suicide and Firearms

Pennsylvania has the nation’s 19th highest homicide rate and 14th lowest suicide rate. For all firearm-related mortality, Pennsylvania’s rate of 11.7 deaths per 100,000 is tied with Virginia for 18th

Accidental Deaths

Pennsylvania has the nation’s 12th highest rate of deaths due to preventable accidents and is well-above the national rates for deaths due to poisoning, choking, and falls.  For these reason alone we’ll often recommend that our clients at least consider purchasing an additional accidental death policy as a way to supplement any traditional life insurance coverage they may already have.

We should not however, that Pennsylvania does rank well below the national rate for vehicle deaths.

Drug Overdose

Pennsylvania’s drug overdose death rate of 35.6 per 100,000 is the nation’s 5th Pennsylvania borders all 4 states with higher overdose rates—West Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, and Maryland.


With just 2.6 occupational deaths per 100,000 workers, Pennsylvania tied Minnesota for 9th safest state in which to work in 2019.


For 2020, Pennsylvania’s 88.4 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population was the nation’s 21st highest rate. Through August, 2021, the state’s rate rose to 11th highest, at 219 deaths per 100,000.


Pennsylvania ranks 2nd worst for air pollution and 4th worst for housing with lead risk.


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).

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. 12, 2021).

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

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

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

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