Child Loss Statistics

When a parent loses a child, especially when the loss is sudden and unexpected, they may have many questions, including “How common is child loss?” and “Where can I find child loss statistics?” To aid in these questions, data is broken up by age, gender, race, trends and causes of death and can be explored by clicking on the links below. Further, interactive tables are available to explore the data by using the Do-It-Yourself feature.

Age

Half of all child deaths occur before the age of one, while the next largest percentage of deaths occur between the ages of 16-20.

Gender

Boys make up a larger proportion of child deaths compared to girls.

Race

Although Whites makes up the largest percentage of child deaths, Black or African American child deaths are disproportionate to the U.S. population.

Trends

Despite an increase in 2015 and 2016, the overall number of deaths and death rate has decreased since 1999.

Causes of Death

While the “<1 Year” Age Group has the largest number of deaths, with the leading cause being a rather general bucket – “Perinatal” (meaning from the time pregnancy begins through one year after birth) – the number one cause in all other age groups combined actually surpasses it. That cause, “External causes of Morbidity and Mortality,” includes automobile accidents, assault and self-harm, among other causes. Not far behind this cause is “Neoplasms,” which is more commonly known as cancer.

Visit the Do-it-Yourself Causes of Death page to break down the causes further.

DIY

To learn how to use the Do-It-Yourself functions, watch our Do-It-Yourself video. 

Data Background

Data from CDC 1999 through 2019. Ages <1 Year through 20 Years Old. wonder.cdc.gov/deaths-by-underlying-cause.html
The “Death Rate” is calculated by dividing the number of deaths by the population.
The “% of Total Deaths” is calculated by dividing the deaths for that specific age by the deaths for all ages.