It’s been said that nothing is certain in life other than death and taxes. And the way we die has changed over the past century.
So here’s a look at how we died more than a 100 years ago compared to how we die today.
First, our overall death rate is lower. In 1900, 1,719 people died out of every 100,000 people in the population. Today that number is about 800.
Accidents: in 1900, 72 deaths were from accidents. Today, it’s about 38.
Diphtheria and Gastro intestinal infections: in 1900, this represented 183 deaths. Today, the number is negligible enough to not be reported.
Tuberculosis: in 1900 tuberculosis led to 194 deaths. Today, the number is negligible enough to not be reported.
Pneumonia or influenza: in 1900, this was responsible for more than 200 deaths. Today that number is about 16.
Kidney problems: in the 1900s it accounted for 88 deaths. Today, it’s 16.
And in all of these disease measures, there have been fantastic strides. But now let’s look at where are the death rate has actually increased.
Cancer: in 1900, 64 of these deaths were from cancer. Today, it’s about 186.
Diabetes: in 1900 it was not reported, today it’s 22 deaths per hundred thousand in the population.
Heart disease: in 1900, 137 deaths were from heart disease. Today, it’s about 193.
Suicide: in 1900 the number was low enough to not be reported. Today suicide kills about 12 people for every hundred thousand in the population.
Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and suicide are today’s big health problems.
Factor in the improvements made in tuberculosis, pneumonia or influenza, gastro intestinal infections, diphtheria, and accidents and we’re left with something pretty interesting…
In 1900, these diseases were responsible for 51% of all deaths. Today, taking into consideration where we’ve made improvements and where death from disease has gotten worse... it’s still 51%.