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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

How many people die each year worldwide?

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of July, 2005, there were approximately 6,446,131,400 people on the planet, and the death rate was approximately 8.78 deaths per 1,000 people a year. According to our nifty desktop calculator, that works out to roughly 56,597,034 people leaving us every year. That's about a 155,000 a day.Still, more people are being born than dying. The population growth rate is hovering around 1.14%, which doesn't seem like much, but last year that was (back to the calculator!) 73,485,898 more mouths to feed. As the Factbook succinctly puts it: "For the 21st century, the continued exponential growth in science and technology raises both hopes (e.g., advances in medicine) and fears (e.g., development of even more lethal weapons of war)."

The legal information resource ItsMyLife.com offers some interesting mortality statistics for the United States. Of the 2,400,000-plus Americans who die each year, over 45,000 are killed in transport accidents. The number of homicides, poisonings, and drunk driving fatalities are roughly the same, at around 17,000 each. Perhaps more surprisingly, a stunning 178,000 Americans die from medical or hospital error every year.

For more details, the National Center for Health Statistics offers a free report. The United Nations also offers a 2005 World Health Report. One of its key findings: this year almost 11 million children under the age of five will die from a preventable disease.

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