CDC: COVID-19 Third Leading Cause of U.S. Deaths

377,883 deaths nationwide last year.
CDC: COVID-19 Third Leading Cause of U.S. Deaths
April 7, 2021

An analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that COVID-19 was the main or contributing cause of 377,883 deaths nationwide last year, with a particularly high toll among the elderly.

The COVID-19 mortality rate made the disease the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020 after heart disease and cancer, the analysis found. The CDC said the overall U.S. mortality rate increased for the first time since 2017, by nearly 16 percent, to 3,358,814 deaths, driven by COVID-19. The disease accounted for an increase of 11.3 percent. A total of 134 children aged 14 and under died from COVID-19 in 2020, while 120,648 people aged 85 and older died from the disease.

The COVID-19 death rate was highest among Hispanics, followed by Black non-Hispanics, according to the analysis. The report is based on death certificate data between January and December 2020. Provisional estimates from the CDC, published last month, showed that life expectancy in the U.S. fell by a year in the first half of 2020 -- the biggest decline since World War 2.


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