Mortality rates for Detroit and Michigan


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the mortality rate is defined as “a measure of the frequency of occurrence of death among a defined population during a specified time interval.” The above chart shows the mortality rates from 2010 for each of the seven counties that make up Southeastern Michigan. Of these counties, St. Clair County had the highest mortality rate in 2010 at 1,007.1 per 100,000 residents; Wayne County had the second highest rate at 985.2. Washtenaw County had the lowest rate at 581.2.


The above chart shows the mortality rates for the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, and the United States. The rates from Michigan and the United States cover the time span of 1970 to 2010, while the rate for the City of Detroit only covers 1990 to 2010, the only years for which this data was available.

As can be seen, the mortality rate in the City of Detroit remained higher than the rates in Michigan and the United States from 1990 to 2010. The mortality rate in Detroit had a decreasing trend from 1995 to 1997. In 1997, the mortality rate was 9.9 per 1,000 residents, and in 1998 it increased to 10.1. Since then, the mortality rate in the city has ranged from 10.2 to 10.8. In 2010, it was recorded at 10.5.

For Michigan and the United States, the mortality rate trends over time are much smoother.  Although they were declining from 1972 to 1979, the rates increased in 1980 and remained fairly constant until 2001. From 2001 to 2010, the mortality rate for the United States began to decline while the rate in Michigan began to increase. In 2010, Michigan’s mortality rate was 8.9 per 1,000 residents, and the rate in the United States was 8.


In 2010, the mortality rate, per 100,000 residents, in the City of Detroit was highest for those individuals 85-years-old and older; it was recorded at 13,081.2. The age bracket for individuals 75-84 years old had the second highest rate at 5,710.9. The age bracket with the lowest rate was 1 to 14-year-olds with a rate of 31.7. There was a gradual progression of increasing rates as the age groups became older, with the exception of the under 1 year old age group. For this group, there was a mortality rate of 1,423.2 per 100,000 residents in 2010. For more information on infant mortality rates, please see our previous post here.


The above chart shows that in 2010, the mortality rate for males was consistently higher than the rate for females in every age category in the City of Detroit. For example, in the 85 and over age group, the mortality rate for males was 14,350 per 100,000 residents,  while the mortality rate for females was 12,506.


The above chart shows the top 10 leading causes of death for Detroit and Michigan residents in 2010, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Heart disease had the highest mortality rate per 100,000 residents for both the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan. However, that rate was 80 deaths per 100,000 residents higher in Detroit (316) than the state (236).


The above slide shows the death rate for each one of the counties that make of Southeastern Michigan for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for all the above counties. Wayne County has the highest rate at 988.1. St. Clair County has the second highest rate 296.8. The rate for St. Clair County is closer to Washtenaw County’s rate of 138.2, which is the lowest of the seven counties, than it is to Wayne County.

In an upcoming post we will explore how the top 10 leading causes of death for each county in Southeastern Michigan and how they have changed over time.

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