Child Loss Statistics: Age

As many bereaved parents know, child loss is different for everyone. While the deep pain and feeling of emptiness is the same, the children and their experiences with their parents are very different. A major factor in this difference lies in the child’s age. Explore the data below to learn what ages most children pass away during, what are the leading causes of death by age group and more.

Which Age Group Makes Up the Largest Percent of Deaths?

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.

What Are the Top 3 Causes of Death by Age Group?

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. “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.

How Has the Death Rate Changed for Children Less Than 1 Year Old?

The number of children less than one year old who have passed away per the population (Death Rate) has decreased since 1999 – a positive sign to see this number going in the right direction.

How Has the Death Rate Changed for Children of Older Age Groups?

While the Death Rate has generally trended downward for every age group since 1999, the 16-20 year old group has recently seen an increase in recent years.

How Do the Number of Deaths Change by Age?

This chart demonstrates just how the numbers of deaths change during childhood. Although this data sums up deaths from 1999 through 2019, the relative size of the bars to one another is representative of any given year.

What is the Death Rate for each Gender by Age Group?

Boys have a higher Death Rate in every age group, being particularly higher in the less than one year and 16-20 years old age groups.

What is the Death Rate for Each Gender by Specific Age?

After the first year of life, the Death Rate decreases for both genders; however, the Death Rate for boys begins to increase around 14 and 15 years old.

What Percent of Deaths Do Each Gender Have by Age?

Boys make up a larger percentage of total deaths, consistently hovering around 57% until they become teenagers, at which time they begin to make up the larger majority of deaths.

What Percent of Deaths Do Each Race Have by Age?

Every race maintains a consistent percent of total deaths with the exception of Black or African American at the less than one year age.

What is the Death Rate For Each Race by Age?

Black or African American have the highest death rates at every single age.

Age Summary Table

This table is offers additional details on deaths by age. This data represents all deaths and their respective age’s population from 1999 through 2019.

Explore More Child Loss Statistics

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.