Mortality Rate by Age

Working further with the mortality data from, I’ve added a breakdown of deaths by age and gender to the lifespan package on GitHub.

Here’s a summary plot:

Density plot of deaths per year versus age broken down by gender.
NYEARS = length(unique(deaths$year))
ggplot(deathsage, aes(x = age, y = count / NYEARS / 1000)) +
    geom_area(aes(fill = sex), position = "identity", alpha = 0.5) +
    geom_line(aes(group = sex)) +
    # facet_wrap(~ sex, ncol = 1) +
    labs(x = "Age", y = "Deaths per Year [thousands]") +
    scale_x_continuous(breaks = seq(0, 150, 10), limits = c(0, 120)) +
    theme_minimal() + theme(legend.title = element_blank())

There are a few interesting observations to be made. We’ll start with the most obvious:

  • on average, females live longer than males;
  • modal age at death is 81 for males and 86 for females;
  • there are more infant deaths among males than females (probably linked to greater number of male births); and
  • there is a rapid escalation in deaths among teenage males (consistent with fact that teenage males are more likely to commit suicide, be involved in fatal vehicle accidents, or be victims of homicide).
Another way of looking at the same data is with a stacked area plot. It’s more difficult to see compare genders, but gives a better indication of the overall mortality rate. Stacked density plot of deaths per year versus age broken down by gender.