Mapping Where Mortality Rates are Increasing in the United States
Researchers from the University of Washington have created a series of data visualizations to illustrate the findings of their new study on county-level trends in mortality rates throughout the United States from 1980 to 2014. The researchers compiled anonymized death records from the National Center for Health Statistics as well as population data from the Census Bureau to analyze changes in mortality rates for the 21 most common causes of death. Their analysis found that while average life expectancy in the United States has increased since 1980, certain causes of death, such as alcohol and drug abuse and mental health disorders, have increased substantially, and affect certain regions disproportionately. The researchers created color-coded maps of the United States illustrating the mortality rates for these causes of death by county, as well as the percent change in these rates since 1980.