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Rhode Island Mortality Rates

Mortality in Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island Population: 1,059,361 (7th lowest)
  • Population Density: 173.53 per square mile (18th most dense)
  • Median Age: 40.3 (9th oldest)
  • Deaths Per Year:  10,083
  • Annual Deaths Per 100,000:  953.6
  • Life Expectancy at Birth:  79.8
  • Fertility Rate (births per 1,000 women age 15-44):  48.8 (3rd lowest rate)

Leading Causes of Death in Rhode Island

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


2,404 159.3 22nd


2,210 153.6 16th
Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)


670 56.4 20th
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)


499 34 39th
Alzheimer’s Disease


456 28.9 32nd


407 26.9 47th


265 18.3 41st
Pneumonia + Flu


178 11.7 29th
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome)


174 11.5 28th
Liver Disease / Cirrhosis


141 11 29th


92 6.4 39th


123 10.7 46th
Drug Overdose


307 29.5 14th


23 2.5 46th

Population Statistics

Rhode Island has the nation’s 7th lowest population, and its 0.6% rate of growth from 2010 to 2019 was the 7th lowest growth rate. Rhode Island also has the nation’s 3rd lowest fertility rate (behind Vermont and New Hampshire).

Rhode Island’s mortality rate of 953.6 per 100,000 population is about 10% above the national rate of 869.7. However, when adjusted for age, Rhode Island’s mortality rate is slightly below the national rate. With a median age of 40.3 years, Rhode Island is the 9th oldest state.

Health Conditions

Rhode Island has the 9th longest life expectancy among the states. Rhode Island is 4th lowest in stroke deaths (behind New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts), 7th lowest for hypertension deaths (tied with Missouri, at 5.9 per 100,000), and 10th lowest for diabetes. Rhode Island’s rates of cancer and heart disease deaths are above the overall national rate.

For these reasons and more, we here at IBUSA will typically try to help applicants from Rhode Island 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.

Homicides, Suicides and Firearms

Rhode Island has the nation’s 5th lowest rate of homicides (tying Hawaii with 2.5 per 100,000), 5th lowest suicide rate (tying California with 10.7 per 100,00), and 5th lowest rate for all firearm-related mortality with 4.6 deaths per 100,000.


For 2020, Rhode Island had a COVID-19 mortality rate of 105.2 deaths per 100,000, which was 10th highest in the country. Through August, 2021, Rhode Island’s COVID death rate of 260 per 100,000 is 5th highest in the nation (behind New Jersey, New York, Mississippi, and Massachusetts).


With just 1.8 work-related deaths per 100,000 workers, Rhode Island tied New Jersey as the 3rd safest state for workers in 2019 (behind Connecticut and New Hampshire).

Accidental Death and Drug Overdose

Rhode Island has the nation’s 14th highest rate of drug-overdose deaths, and—with 18.5 deaths per 100,000—Rhode Island has the nation’s 7th highest rate of deaths due to accidental falls (tied with New Hampshire).

For these two reasons 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.

Standout Statistic

Rhode Island is the nation’s worst-rated state for health impact of housing and transportation infrastructure.


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. 24, 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: Rhode Island.

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