Life was slightly deadlier for Americans in 2015 than it was in 2014. CNN reports the death rate for the US in 2015 was 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people. That's up from 723.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014. Those rates have been adjusted to account for a population that's aging overall, according to the Atlantic. The higher death rate reverses a largely downhill trend that's been going on since the 1930s. The last time the death rate went up was in 2005. There were also blips in 1999 and 1993. But there's a chance a deadlier 2015 is a sign of a new trend, not an anomaly. Suicide rates went up 24% between 1999 and 2014, and drug overdoses are up 137% since 2000. Also up in 2015: deaths from guns, homicides, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, hypertension, and more.
The rise in the death rate corresponds with a drop in the US birth rate. The Wall Street Journal reports there were 3.98 million births in the US in 2015. That's down 0.3% from 2004. Teen births were at their lowest point in decades, dropping 64% since 1991. Birth rates were down for both black and white women but up for Hispanic women. “We’re in a period where population growth has been a bit slower,” Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center, tells the Journal. “To keep the labor force growing, we’re going to need to have pretty healthy levels of immigration.”