STUMP » Articles » Mortality Nuggets: Videos on Suicide Rate Trends, Society of Actuaries Report, and Fixing Their Graph » 6 February 2022, 18:29

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Mortality Nuggets: Videos on Suicide Rate Trends, Society of Actuaries Report, and Fixing Their Graph  

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6 February 2022, 18:29

Suicide Rate Trends 1968-2020

First, a video version of my last post:

For convenience, a link to that post on suicide death rate trends.

SOA Report on Mortality Trends

A video coverage the latest Society of Actuaries report on U.S. population mortality trends:

The page for this report is here: U.S. Population Mortality Observations – Updated with 2020 Experience

The PDF of the report: U.S. Population Mortality Observations – Updated with 2020 Experience — PDF report

Tableau dashboard I covered (let’s see if I can embed):
If that embed code did not work, check out the dashboard at this link.

Fixing a graph: top causes of death by age group

Remember this table?

This is the graph version the Society of Actuaries did in their report:

I made comments in the video that this graph wasn’t friendly to the color-blind, but worry not — if you’re not color-blind (like me), you may still have had problems with the graph.

I am going to redo this graph.

Yeah, I know my color choices are a little odd (see this post for explanation for where I grabbed my colors.)

A few comments:

  • I highlighted a few of the cause-of-death trends. In particular, COVID (which, obviously, is biased more towards the old), and external causes of death: homicide, suicide, and accidents (which includes drug overdoses and motor vehicle accidents).
  • There are basically too many things going on in this graph, so there aren’t a lot of good choices for either me or the SOA. What I did was to pick four of the data series to highlight with data labels, as noted above (and I also slapped one data label on dementia for the oldest age group, just because). I am in the middle of a series going through how that external causes of death changed in 2020 — in particular, accidents and homicides went up, and really affected mortality for adults under age 45, plus male teens.
  • Yeah, check out heart disease and cancer (bottom of the graph). Ain’t old age great?

As you can see, “accidents” are a huge cause of death for younger adults.

Usually, homicide isn’t number two as a cause of death for young adults — suicide usually edges it out. But that wasn’t true for the age 15-24 group in 2020.

My next major mortality post will be on the nasty bump up in homicide in both 2020 and 2021. And that has a much larger age effect than does suicide.

Memento mori.


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