The overall age-adjusted mortality rate (both sexes) from all causes of death recorded the historically highest increase of published records dating back to 1900 of 16.8% in 2020, following a 1.2% decrease in 2019. The increase eclipsed the size of recent years’ annual volatility and exceeded the 11.7% increase in
1918 that occurred during the Spanish influenza pandemic. When COVID deaths are removed, all other
CODs’ (Cause of Death) combined mortality increased by 4.9%, which was last exceeded by a 5.6% increase in 1936.
All other CODs featured in this report had increased 2020 mortality. In many instances, the single year
mortality increases were the largest for the span of this report. Heart disease and Alzheimer’s/Dementia
had 4.7% and 7.8% increases, respectively. Other physiological CODs with lower death rates had double-digit increases. Diabetes, liver and hypertension had increases of 14.9%, 16.0% and 13.3%, respectively.
The external CODs of assaults and opioid overdoses had extreme increases at ages 15-24 of 35.9% and
Jerome Holman, FSA, MAAA, RJH Integrated Solutions, LLC
Cynthia S. MacDonald, FSA, MAAA, Society of Actuaries Research Institute
Publication Date: Jan 2022
Publication Site: SOA