Child Loss Statistics: Causes of Death

Seeing the causes of death can help explain the large percentages in deaths for children less than one year old and for children 16-20 years-old. Explore the data below to learn more about causes of death by age group, gender and race.

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.

What Are the Top Causes of Death by Gender?

Although boys have more deaths than girls, the causes by the number of deaths follow nearly the same order. The major exception occurs in the top 2 spots, where boys have “External causes of morbidity and mortality” as the number one cause; this number is significantly more than the second cause (perinatal) compared to girls and is more than two times greater than the number of “morbidity and mortality” deaths for girls.

What Are the Top Causes of Death by Race?

“External causes of morbidity and mortality” and “Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period” make up the first and second cause of death for each race.

Explore More Child Loss Statistics

Data Background

Data from CDC 1999 through 2019. Ages <1 Year through 20 Years Old.
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.