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

The group with the highest opioid death rate in Philadelphia was white males, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Solomon Jones,, "Liberal racism behind push for safe injection sites | Solomon Jones," 13 June 2018 So is the death rate among people associated with Global HMO’s Well Services, the caregiving organization with close ties to Pelicano. Beth Kephart,, "Frances Metzman's 'Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Bay': The rules of dancing, life, and rocking thongs in a retirement village," 6 July 2018 The report, published Thursday (May 31), says the death rate at the facility in that period was 2.5 times the national prison average. Emily Lane,, "Death rate at Baton Rouge jail 2.5 times the national average: report," 1 June 2018 Higher death rates make pollination more expensive for beekeepers and farmers. Alan Bjerga,, "Honeybees may be dying in larger numbers due to climate change," 25 May 2018 The virus is a hemorrhagic fever that kills many of its victims — but that death rate can be highly variable depending on the resources patients and doctors have access to. Julia Belluz, Vox, "There’s a new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.," 11 May 2018 Fortunately, death rates for colorectal cancer have been dropping for several decades, thanks to improvements in screening and treatment. Sarah Klein,, "Colorectal Cancer Screenings Should Start at 45, New American Cancer Society Guidelines Say," 30 May 2018 And while the opioid crisis has been stereotyped as affecting mainly whites — who still made up the largest share of opioid overdoses in the city in 2017 — death rates among black opioid users are on the rise. Aubrey Whelan,, "West Philadelphia nervously watches as fentanyl kills the unsuspecting," 5 July 2018 While the death rates linked to drug overdoses are lower in San Diego County than other parts of the country, the region has not been spared. David Hernandez,, "Use of drug that reverses overdoses to expand to police, school campuses," 11 June 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

13 Sep 2018

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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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