Florida Mortality Atlas
Back to Florida Mortality Atlas
The Florida Mortality Atlas provides a visual display of leading causes of death
in Florida. Causes of death are presented for the total population and then by race
(white and non-white). For 1999-2003, the information is available by gender as
well. All files are provided in .pdf format for convenient printing.
The Florida Mortality Atlas uses maps to depict causes of death by county. These
maps are color coded to show which areas of the state have highest and lowest rates
of selected causes of death. The color-coded maps provide a relative ranking among
counties with the darkest color representing the highest age-adjusted death rates
and the lightest color representing the lowest age-adjusted death rates.
Since the occurrence of many health conditions is related to age, the most common
adjustment for public health data is age-adjustment. The Florida Mortality Atlas
uses age-adjusted mortality rates so that differences in the age composition are
removed, allowing for comparisons independent of age structure. The Florida Mortality
Atlas has been age adjusted using the US 2000 Standard Population.
The sources of data for the Florida Mortality Atlas are the Florida Department of
Health’s Office of Vital Statistics, the US Census Bureau, and the Florida Legislature
Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
Trends in Mortality
There has been an overall decline in age-adjusted death rates from 1970 to 2003.
Though the gap between death rates of Nonwhites and Whites is diminishing, Nonwhites
experienced significantly higher age-adjusted death rates during the period than
The overall decline in age-adjusted death rates in the last 30 years can be largely
attributed to a 43.7% decrease in the rate of deaths due to heart disease. Even
with the drop in rates, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death
in Florida and the United States. Although there has been a slight reduction in
rates, cancer deaths remain relatively the same and rank as the second leading cause
of death. There have also been significant decreases in age-adjusted death rates
for six other leading causes of death. For example, the age-adjusted death rates
for stroke decreased by 65.2%, the largest reduction in rates for any of the leading
causes of death.
Since 1970, increases in age-adjusted death rates have occurred for three of the
leading causes of death: chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and kidney
disease. Chronic lower respiratory disease, which includes asthma deaths, increased
by 109.4%. Diabetes deaths increased by 18.9% and deaths attributed to kidney disease
increased by 106.5%. Since 1980, the first year for which data are available, deaths
due to Alzheimer’s disease have also increased steadily.
The total age-specific mortality rate for children under 1 year of age has decreased
from 1970 to 2000. The age-specific rate of death caused by perinatal conditions—the
leading cause of death in 1970 and 2000 for children less than 1 year of age—decreased
by more than two-thirds over the 30-year period. Congenital anomalies ranks as the
second leading cause of death for children less than 1 year of age.
In 2000, unintentional injury was the leading cause of death in Florida for persons
ages 1 to 44. The age-specific rate of death due to unintentional injuries decreased
by more than 50% for children ages 1 to 4 from 1970 to 2000. For residents ages
45-74, cancer is the leading cause of death. HIV/AIDS ranks as one of the top five
causes of death for Florida residents ages 25 to 54.