Leading causes of death among black U.S. residents in 2017

The leading causes of death among black residents in the United States in 2017 included diseases of the heart, cancer, stroke, and unintentional injuries. The leading causes of death for African Americans generally reflects the leading causes of death for the entire United States population. However, a major exception is that death from assault or homicide is the seventh leading cause of death among African Americans but is not among the ten leading causes for the general population.

Homicide among African Americans

The homicide rate among African Americans has been higher than that of other races and ethnicities for many years. In 2016, there were 38 homicide deaths per 100,000 population among male African Americans and only 5 such deaths per 100,000 population for white males. A majority of these homicides are committed with firearms, which are easily accessible in the United States. The rate of firearm-related deaths among African American males is over double that of white males.

Cancer disparities

There are also major disparities in access to health care and the impact of various diseases. For example, the incidence rate of cancer among African American males is the greatest among all ethnicities and races. Furthermore, although the incidence rate of cancer is lower among African American women than it is among white women, cancer death rates are still higher among African American women.

Distribution of the 10 leading causes of death among black U.S. residents in 2017*

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Source

Release date

June 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

2017

Supplementary notes

* Non-Hispanic black population.

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

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