death rate

noun
plural death rates

Definition of death rate

: the ratio between deaths and individuals in a specified population during a particular time period : the incidence of deaths in a given population during a defined time period (such as one year) that is typically expressed per 1000 or 100,000 individuals : mortality rate an annual death rate of 15 deaths per 1000 people

Note: A crude death rate does not distinguish between specific causes of death or groups of individuals and measures the incidence of all deaths in a population during a given time period. More specific death rates are based on narrower categories of individuals or causes of death.

an infant death rate of 9 deaths per 1000 live births Ebola is infamous for being highly contagious and causing death rates as high as 90 percent in some human outbreaks.— Brendan Borrell

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 Experts attribute the higher death rate compared with the rest of the continent to a higher proportion of the population being over the age of 65 and thus more at risk of severe complications. Washington Post, "South Africa’s second coronavirus wave is fueled by a new strain, teen ‘rage festivals’," 18 Dec. 2020 Dexamethasone—a cheap, generic corticosteroid—cut the death rate by a third for severe COVID-19 cases in a clinical trial. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "Lock Yourself Down, Now," 14 Nov. 2020 Some scientists have attributed the lower death rate to Africa’s younger demographics and a lower comorbidity overall. Uwagbale Edward-ekpu, Quartz Africa, "The challenges African countries face to get hold of the Covid-19 vaccine," 13 Nov. 2020 For Whites, that means an excess death rate of 11.9% over a normal year. Lenny Bernstein, Anchorage Daily News, "As pandemic marches on, US sees 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year," 20 Oct. 2020 Estimates show a death rate that is low across the board, and especially among the young and healthy. John Kass, Star Tribune, "The virus that's killing America is our politics," 8 Oct. 2020 Still, estimates from experts tend to put the coronavirus’s death rate higher than the flu’s. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Tracking Viral Misinformation Ahead of the 2020 Election," 6 Oct. 2020 Another newly famous drug is dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that has reduced the COVID-19 death rate. Roger J. Kreuz, The Conversation, "How COVID-19 is changing the English language," 25 Sep. 2020 The state still has one of the highest infection rates of COVID-19 in the country, and the tenth-highest COVID-19 death rate in the U.S., according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID Tracker. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, "Labor Day in Arizona 'definitely a concern' for COVID-19 spread, health experts say," 4 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for death rate

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The first known use of death rate was in 1849

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Statistics for death rate

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Death rate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death%20rate. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for death rate

death rate

noun

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

noun

Medical Definition of death rate

: the ratio between deaths and individuals in a specified population and time period : the incidence of deaths in a given population during a defined time period (as one year) that is typically expressed per 1000 or 100,000 individuals : mortality rate an annual death rate of 715 deaths per 100,000 individuals

Note: A crude death rate does not distinguish between specific causes of death or groups of individuals and measures the incidence of all deaths in a population during a given time period. More specific death rates are based on narrower categories of individuals or causes of death.

an infant death rate of 9 deaths per 1000 live births The pravastatin group had a 24% lower death rate than the placebo group.Harvard Health Letter Ebola is infamous for being highly contagious and causing death rates as high as 90 percent in some human outbreaks.— Brendan Borrell, Scientific American

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