CDC Data: Average Age of Those Who Have Died from COVID-19 in U.S. 75

Ambulance worker evacuates elderly patient from Florida nursing home. (AP Photo/Beth Bennett)
AP File Photo: Beth Bennett via South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The average age of Americans who died from COVID-19 between February 1 and May 2 is 75, according to an analysis of a provisional data set published by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on Wednesday.

The data set published by NCHS, Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State, include key demographic information for the 44,016 COVID-19 deaths for which information has been “received and coded” as of May 6, the date of publication.

The NCHS notes that “Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more.”

According to Worldometer, 74,190 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the United States as of Wednesday, so information on at least 30,000 of these deaths has not yet been received and coded by NCHS.

All 50 states provide more current COVID-19 data on websites maintained by their respective departments of health. While most of these state websites provide relatively current data on the number of tests taken, number of positive tests, and total deaths, data on mortality by age or age group is not reported publicly on a consistent basis at those state department of health websites.

Some states, such as Massachussetts, provide specific data on average age of those who died from COVID-19, while other states, such as Florida, provide age data for cases but not deaths.

The average age among the 4,420 people who have died of COVID-19 in Massachsetts is 82, according to page 11 of this report published by the Massachusetts Department of Health on Wednesday.

Boston talk radio king Howie Carr commented on that fact, which was also included in a report published on Monday by the Massachussets Department of Health, Tuesday in this tweet:

Publicly available data from states that provide information on the age of death confirms that the elderly are the most at-risk age group for COVID-19.

In Tennessee, where the average age of the 13,794 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 is 43, according to The Tennessee Department of Health, the average age of the 239 people who have died of COVID-19 is 72. (This latter calculation is based on data for morbidity in ten year age groups provided by the Tennessee Department of Health).

In New York, the average age of the 19,611 people who have died from COVID-19 is 73, according to calculations based on age group COVID-19 fatality data provided by the New York State Department of Health.

In Minnesota, age data for COVID-19 deaths is not provided, but the MN Department of Health website states that 391 out of the 485 COVID-19 deaths in the state were residents of long term care facilities.

California does not provide age data for COVID-19 deaths on its publicly available website, nor does Michigan.

In Alabama, 78 percent of the 340 COVID-19 deaths were of people over the age of 65.

A note on methodology in calculating the average age of COVID-19 death from the NCHS data set published on May 6

The chart below shows the methodology used to calculate the average of COVID-19 death, based on the NCHS data set published on May 6:

Methodology for Determining Average Age of COVID-19 Death
NCHS Data NCHS Data Assumed Total
Age Group Deaths Ave. Age Life Years
under 1 4 0.5 2
1 to 4 2 2.5 5
5 to 14 4 9.5 38
15 to 24 48 19.5 936
25 to 34 317 29.5 9,352
35 to 44 796 39.5 31,442
45 to 54 2,262 49.5 111,969
55 to 64 5,422 59.5 322,609
65 to 74 9,359 69.5 650,451
75 to 84 12,026 79.5 956,067
85 + 13,776 90 1,239,840
Total 44,016 3,322,710
Average Age 75.5


(Average Age= Total Life Years/Total Deaths)


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