Why do so many more Americans die compared to Europeans?

500 000 more Americans die every year compared to equivalent economies. The death rate in America is higher for several causes of death than in Europe.

US life expectancy fell from 78.8 to 76.1 between 2019 to 2021. In all other developed countries it continued to increase.

graph showing life expectancy trends, America's going down!

According to a recent large-scale study by mortality researchers:

  • In 2020 the EU reported 5800 overdose deaths in a population of 330 million. America reported 68 000 overdose deaths in a similar population of 440 million.
  • In 2021 there were 26 000 murders in America compared to just a few hundred in most European countries with larger populations.
  • The US car crash death rate is four times that of Germany.
  • Americans are nearly twice as likely to die in fires compared to in Western Europe.
Relevance to A-level sociology

This material is relevant to global development, an option within A-level sociology.

These statistics suggest that social development does not automatically follow on from economic development. America is one of the richest countries on earth, but its social development is relatively retarded. The money made in America isn’t being used to benefit ordinary people by making the country a safer place to live!

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