Thursday, January 12, 2012

Homicide no longer in the list of top 15 causes of death in US

Leave the bulletproof vest at home, a bottle of aspirin is more likely to save your life.

The CDC's annual report on the top 15 causes of death in the US was released this past Wednesday, and surprise!: homicide is no longer on the list, this in spite of the expiration of the 1994 'Assault' Weapons Ban  in 2004. A gun-control supporter would probably be shocked to notice that the increase in availability of firearms has not caused the homicide rate to increase.

Guns do not cause murders, because guns are simply inanimate objects. The average American is more likely to die as a result of suicide than at the hands of a murderer.

The top 15 causes of death in the US are:

1 Diseases of heart
2 Malignant neoplasms
3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
4 Cerebrovascular diseases
5 Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6 Alzheimer’s disease
7 Diabetes mellitus
8 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis
9 Influenza and pneumonia
10 Intentional self-harm (suicide)
11 Septicemia
12 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13 Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
14 Parkinson’s disease
15 Pneumonitis due to solids and liquid

So Americans are either increasingly safer from accidents and crime... or they are just increasingly unhealthier, which would not be surprising given their poor eating habits and lazy lifestyle. It is worth noting that as life expectancy increases, age-related diseases become more prevalent causes of death than accidents or violence.


  1. There's two things at work. One is that we are getting less healthy (especially through obesity), but another is that doctors have gotten much better as treating traumatic wounds. The rate at which people die from assault has fallen faster than the rate of assault.

    On a slightly related, Ive been reading about how the two primary reasons for the decrease in crime overall has been the availability of abortion, followed by the removal of lead from gasoline and paint.

  2. I read something similar in Steven D. Levitt's Freakonomics. His argument was that the reason why the crime rate has been dropping is not because of more intensive law enforcement or even more gun control, but rather that when abortion became legal, young women were given a way out of poverty and after a decade and a half, there was a diminished supply of deadbeat teenagers, because fewer of them had been born in the first place: there was less crime because there were fewer criminals. Why pay to put kids in prison when you can just abort them? Fiscal conservatives should support that.

    There's definitely a lot of factors that come into play to explain these numbers.

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