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This Graph Tells You What's Most Likely To Kill You, Based On Your Life


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockFeb 26 2016, 14:35 UTC
88 This Graph Tells You What's Most Likely To Kill You, Based On Your Life
Nathan Yau/FlowingData

Here’s a super-interesting interactive graphic to satisfy your morbid curiosity.

It was compiled and crafted by Nathan Yau, a statistician from Flowing Data, who spent hours sifting through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Underlying Cause of Death databank.


The interactive visualization allows you to click and compare the cause of deaths of people from the United States according to age, gender, and ethnic background between 2005 and 2014.

As you can see, the first portion of your life is a minefield of cancers, infections, congenital defects and diseases. As you transition into your awkward teen years and early adulthood, it’s most likely to be an “external cause,” such as an accident, which brings about your untimely demise. From then on, the risk of dying from cancers and circulatory diseases steadily mounts.

All of the different variants pretty much follow this same pattern, although certain differences are notable. For example, across all races, males are consistently more likely to die from “external causes” compared to females. Additionally, American Indians and Alaskan natives are considerably more likely to die of digestive disorders, and African Americans have a spike in deaths in their middle ages due to infectious diseases.


You might notice that the graph from American Indians and Alaskan natives is particularly “spikey” compared to the smoother-looking graph for the white population. As Yau explains, this is likely due to population size, with races with a smaller population giving higher variance to the data.

Check out the full visualization on the Flowing Data website, where you can play around with the different chunks of data.

[H/T: Gizmodo]

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