death rate


Definition of death rate

: the ratio between deaths and individuals in a specified population and time

Examples of death rate in a Sentence

There was a decline in the country's death rate after its health care improved. Lung cancer death rates are up. The death rate from accidents is rising.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Just as tobacco use drove cancer death rates earlier, Ms. Siegel said, obesity could influence future projections. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Cancer Deaths Decline 27% Over 25 Years," 8 Jan. 2019 The nation’s cancer death rate was increasing until the early 1990s. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "US cancer death rate hits milestone: 25 years of decline," 8 Jan. 2019 The epidemic has affected the whole country, but some states have been hit harder than others: Opioid overdose death rates are highest in most of the Northeast, including Massachusetts. Ted Alcorn, Vox, "The waiting list for organ transplants is finally shrinking — for a grim reason," 24 Sep. 2018 Despite the steady decline in overall death rates, the study’s authors also projected in 2019 there would be 1.76 million new cancer cases and close to 607,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Cancer Deaths Decline 27% Over 25 Years," 8 Jan. 2019 The prostate cancer death rate flattened from 2013 to 2016. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "US cancer death rate hits milestone: 25 years of decline," 8 Jan. 2019 However, death rates varied among different groups. Richard Gunderman, Smithsonian, "Ten Myths About the 1918 Flu Pandemic," 12 Jan. 2018 Over this time period, measles vaccination has prevented approximately 21 million deaths globally, compared to a hypothetical world with no measles vaccines (in this world, the death rate would have been a lot higher in 2000, too). Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The fight against measles has taken a turn for the worse," 30 Nov. 2018 The Tennessee death rate grew to 10.1 in 2011, when Bredesen left office, compared to 7.3 nationally, the data show. Jonathan Mattise, The Seattle Times, "Ex-DEA official says Blackburn had warning on opioid law," 26 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'death rate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of death rate

1849, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2019

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The first known use of death rate was in 1849

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More Definitions for death rate

death rate


English Language Learners Definition of death rate

: a number that shows how many people died in a particular place or during a particular time
: the number of deaths from a specific cause in a particular area during a particular time period

death rate


Medical Definition of death rate

: a measure of the number of deaths in a specified population during a particular time period After five years, those receiving the drug suffered 32 percent fewer fatal heart attacks, and their overall death rate was 22 percent lower than that of the men who were given the placebo.— Isadore Rosenfeld, Vogue, February 1996 Ebola is infamous for being highly contagious and causing death rates as high as 90 percent in some human outbreaks.— Brendan Borrell, Scientific American, September 2009

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