U.S. Mortality Reaching 3 Million Deaths
R. Dale Hall, FSA, CERA, CFA, MAAA, Managing Director of Research, SOA
Unfortunately, the United States is about to reach and exceed 3,000,000 deaths for the first time in a single year. In addition, the U.S. may reach 1,000 deaths per 100,000 of the population. At the SOA, we’d like to hear your comments and thoughts on these trends. Is 2020 an anomaly? Will these mortality trends continue?
The U.S. first exceeded 2,000,000 deaths back in 1983, and last reached 1,000 deaths per 100,000 in 1981. With a consistently growing population over the past decades and a large aging population, death counts have naturally increased. Medical technology and improvements in diagnosis and treatment have counterbalanced the growth trend over the past 20 years as well, with relatively consistent increases in mortality improvement for the two leading causes of death of heart disease and cancer. More recently, opioid addiction and neurological diseases impacting the older U.S. population have added to the death count. Another unexpected impact in 2020 is from the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting already for more than 260,000 deaths. Other deaths potentially have occurred due to the pandemic, stemming from deferred diagnosis or delayed medical treatments in 2020.
The SOA and its members examine and analyze these types of population trends, from mortality to health and aging, and also the downstream impact on insured cohorts and participants in retirement plans. We’re interested in these findings so we can better understand the societal impacts and what it means for businesses and the general public. Our research programs and our professional development offerings, such as the Living to 100 Symposium, work with experts around to world to better understand mortality and aging. At the same time, we’re exploring the impact of technology and new medical advancements on the health of individuals, overall longevity, financial planning and many other concepts on retirement and aging.
That’s why we want to hear from you. What’s your expectation for 2021 and forward? What’s been the impact to your work? So let’s hear your thoughts – send on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts or comments on these emerging mortality trends.
Note: See the @SOActuaries past Twitter chat #SOATalksMortality and add to the conversation on mortality.