Mortality rate

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 2 Aug 2021

The mortality rate is a quantification of death due to a disease or condition in a certain population over a set amount of time. Although such rates are typically written per 1,000 people annually, these units are a matter of convention not definition. Mortality rates may be assigned to certain diseases or certain populations e.g. the mortality rate of diabetes or the infant mortality rate. Diseases often have different age-specific mortality rates which can inform many statistical inferences.

NB: Mortality rates are almost by definition imprecise as they must be created by sampling a subset of a population and/or extrapolating from several sources of data about a population.

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