We recently discovered this fascinating post by the WHO: The top 10 causes of death
It’s a five-page primer on why people die. We highly recommend you read it. The pages are broken down as follows:
- The 10 leading causes of death by broad income group (2008)
- Death distribution
- Major causes of death
- Why counting the dead matters
- Deaths across the globe: an overview
Here’re a few takeways that were interesting to us:
1.) An estimated 57M people died in 2008. That’s about 0.85% of the 2008 world population.
2.) Cardiovascular diseases kill more people each year than any others. In 2008, roughly 13.5M people died from cardiovascular diseases (23% of all deaths).
3.) The causes of death differed dramatically based on broad income group. In high-income countries, more than two thirds of all people live beyond 70 and predominently die of chronic diseases (heart disease included). The same follows for middle-income countries, with the exception that tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and road traffic accidents are also leading causes of death. In low-income countries, however, only one in five people live beyond 70. People predominently die of infectious diseases (lung infections, diarrhoeal diseases, HIV/AIDS, etc.).
4.) In terms of volume of deaths, the greatest number of deaths come from middle-income countries, which represent 67.7% of overall annual deaths.