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Wisconsin Mortality Rates

Mortality Rates in Wisconsin

Mortality Rates in Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin Population: 5,882,434 (20th highest)
  • Population Density: 106 per square mile (24th most dense)
  • Median Age:  40.0 (14th oldest)
  • Deaths Per Year:  53,684
  • Annual Deaths Per 100,000: 923.4
  • Life Expectancy at Birth:  79.3
  • Fertility Rate (births per 1,000 women age 15-44):  58.1 (27th highest rate)

Leading Causes of Death in Wisconsin

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


12,241 158.8 24th


11,505 149.6 25th
Accidents (includes vehicle accidents)


4,087 61.1 14th
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (e.g., emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma)


2,846 36.7 32nd


2,488 32.3 35th
Alzheimer’s Disease


2,390 30.5 29th


1,548 20.2 31st
Kidney Disease (nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome)


957 12.6 25th
Pneumonia + Flu


758 10 43rd
Liver Disease / Cirrhosis


739 10.3 33rd


854 14 38th
Drug Overdose


1,201 21.1 25th


226 4.2 31st

Population Statistics

With 923.4 annual deaths per 100,000, Wisconsin’s mortality rate exceeds the overall national rate of 869.7 by about 6%. When adjusted for age, Wisconsin’s rate is only about 1% above the overall national rate. Wisconsin’s life expectancy at birth of 79.3 years ties Vermont and North Dakota for 13th

Wisconsin’s mortality rates for most major health-related causes of death are close to the overall national rates. Wisconsin is only substantially above the national rate for stroke-related deaths (16th highest) and flu / pneumonia deaths (8th highest).

Despite rating worst in the nation for excessive drinking, Wisconsin has the 18th lowest rate of death due to liver disease.  For this reason and others like it, we here at IBUSA will often find applicants from Wisconsin a bit of “mixed bag”.

Sure some will be able to qualify for a no medical exam term life insurance policy given the relative health of this states population, but it probably safe to say that the majority of applicants will need to consider life insurance policies that require a medical exam or even a guaranteed issue life insurance policy to receive full coverage.

Accidental Deaths

Wisconsin rates significantly above the national level—and 14th highest among U.S. states—for accidental deaths. Wisconsin’s rate of deaths resulting from preventable injuries is 7th highest, and Wisconsin has the nation’s highest rate of deaths due to falls (with 31.7 per 100,000 in 2019).

For this reason we’ll often recommend that most of our clients at least consider purchasing an accidental death policy as a way to supplement their coverage if it doesn’t look like they can qualify for enough true life insurance coverage.

Homicide and Suicide

Wisconsin’s rates of homicide and suicide are 20th and 13th lowest nationally, respectively. In rates of firearm mortality, Wisconsin is 12th lowest (just behind Delaware).

Lifestyle Choices

At 16.4%, Wisconsin’s rate of adult smokers is 25th highest (just below Delaware’s 16.5%) and above the overall national rate of about 14%. Wisconsin has the 17th highest rate of adult obesity, at 34.2% (again, just behind Delaware).


Wisconsin’s COVID-19 death rate for 2020 was 70.2 per 100,000 (16th lowest nationally). Through August, 2021, Wisconsin’s rate of COVID deaths is still 16th—coming in a little over 20% below the national level, at 143 per 100,000.


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).

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, Life Expectancy at Birth by State (2018).

Kaiser Family Foundation, Number of Deaths per 100,000 Population (2019).

CDC, Natl. Center for Health Statistics, Fertility Rates by State (2019).

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

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

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).

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