Mortality Rate: Definition & Types

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Net Migration Rate: Definition, Formula & Statistics

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What is Mortality?
  • 0:30 The Mortality Rate Explained
  • 2:01 Types of Mortality Rates
  • 3:01 Use of Mortality Rate
  • 4:42 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Mortality and death may not be fun things to think about, but scientists study the data surrounding these concepts and uncover interesting information. Ever wondered what kind of stuff they're learning? Read on to find out.

What Is Mortality?

When you are talking about mortality, you are talking about death, and usually the death of many people. The death of one person could be considered a mortality, but the death of all people in a region or period of time can also be referred to as their mortality. Scientists study how, why and how often people die to help understand many different concepts, but we'll talk more about that later. First, let's take a look at how they figure out mortality rate.

The Mortality Rate Explained

Scientists study mortality many different ways. For instance, they often use a figure called mortality rate. The mortality rate is the number of people who die in a given year and area, divided by the population of that area. The formula is simple: D divided by P. D is the number of deaths, and P is the population of that area.

Let's look at an example. Scientists may wonder what the deer-related mortality rate is in the United States every year, or how many people are killed due to accidents involving deer. To figure it out they apply the formula.

D = Approximately 130 people are killed each year by deer-related accidents.

P = The US population is 320 million.

Deer-related mortality in the US then is 130 / 320000000 = 4.06 x 10^-7, which is a really small number. To make that deaths per 10,000,000, which would be a usable number to scientists, we would just multiply that number times 10 million.

4.06 x 10^-7 x 1.0 x 107 = 4.06

So, the deer-related mortality rate in the US is approximately 4 per 10 million. What are some other kinds of mortality rates scientists use?

Types of Mortality Rates

Deer-related mortality rates are not the hottest topic to scientists. Although it's useful in certain circles, there is data for mortality rates more critical for scientists. Some types that are more commonly studied and discussed are:

  • Crude mortality rate - This is all deaths divided by the population. Specifically, it is how many deaths occur in a population in a year. It is estimated per 1,000 total population. Scientists use this data to compare mortality rates among countries and regions.
  • Infant mortality rate - An important statistic concerning mortality is the number of deaths among children under one year of age divided by the number of live births that year.
  • Maternal mortality rate - Scientists are also interested in the number of mothers who die in incidents related to child bearing. This mortality rate is calculated by dividing by the number of live births.

An important thing to note is the total population for most mortality rates is usually taken at the middle of the period in question.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support