Leading causes of death among the white population in the United States in 2017

The leading causes of death among the white population of the United States include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and accidents. However, cardiovascular diseases and cancer account for a combined 44.7 percent of all deaths among this population.

Disparities in causes of death

In the United States, there exist disparities in the leading causes of death based on race and ethnicity. For example, suicide is the ninth leading cause of death among the white population but is not among the ten leading causes for blacks or Hispanics. On the other hand, homicide is the seventh leading cause of death among the black population but is not among the leading causes for whites or Hispanics. However, cardiovascular diseases and cancer by far account for the highest share of deaths for every race and ethnicity.

Diseases of despair among whites

Not only does the white population have much higher death rates from suicide, but they also have higher rates of death from drug overdose and alcohol. Together, these three behavior-related conditions are often referred to as diseases of despair. Asians have by far the lowest rates of death due to drug overdose and alcohol but have slightly higher rates of suicide than blacks and Latinos.

Distribution of the 10 leading causes of death among the U.S. white population in 2017*

Percentage of all causes of death
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Source

Release date

June 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

2017

Supplementary notes

* Non-Hispanic white population.

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Statistics on "Racial and ethnic health disparities in the U.S. "

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