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Age, sex, and death

Clinical bottom line

The chance of dying in any one year increases with age, and is higher for men than women. For people aged 65 and older, the risk of dying in any one year is about 1 in 30, and for those aged 85 or older is about 1 in 7.


Data sources

What the sources tell us

They give us the number of deaths against the total population by age ranges, and by sex. Good data are available from the UK and the USA.

Give us the odds

Table 1 shows much the same picture as we would expect. The older you are, the more likely you are to die in the coming year. If you are a man, your risk is higher.

Table 1: Chance of dying in one year by age and sex in UK and USA


Country
Age Group
No. of Deaths
Population Estimate
Rate per 100,000 population
Odds of Dying (1 in)
0-14 years
England and Wales
All
4,678
9,527,400
49.1
2,037
women
2,075
4,647,600
44.6
2,240
men
2,603
4,879,800
53.3
1,875
US
All
39,393
60,754,920
64.8
1,542
women
17,226
29,668,717
58.1
1,722
men
22,167
31,086,203
71.3
1,402
15-44 years
England and Wales
All
17,512
22,348,000
78.4
1,276
women
6,009
11,115,400
54.1
1,850
men
11,503
11,232,600
102.4
976
US
All
160,661
126,518,355
127.0
787
women
52,421
62,258,466
84.2
1,188
men
108,240
64,259,889
168.4
594
45-64 years
England and Wales
All
65,854
13,242,700
497.3
201
women
26,047
6,705,600
388.4
257
men
39,807
6,537,100
608.9
164
US
All
465,940
74,864,857
622.4
161
women
182,098
38,351,349
474.8
211
men
283,842
36,513,508
777.4
129
65-84 years
England and Wales
All
246,505
7,488,900
3292
30
women
115,712
4,111,100
2815
36
men
130,793
3,377,800
3872
26
US
All
1,057,715
31,963,535
3309
30
women
512,212
17,994,937
2846
35
men
545,503
13,968,598
3905
26
85+ years
England and Wales
All
168,050
1,121,600
14983
7
women
111,868
777,800
14383
7
men
56,182
343,900
16337
6
US
All
701,923
5,296,817
13252
8
women
460,298
3,608,539
12756
8
men
241,625
1,688,278
14312
7

Comment

Few 20 year olds will be aware that their risk of dying in the coming year is as great as 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000. Pensioners 65 years and older have a risk of 1 in 30.

This is very useful perspective information for comparison with very rare risks.