Saturday, March 18, 2023

Urban vs. Rural Drug-Induced Death Rates in the U.S. Southwest

In the four-state U.S. Southwest, drug-related incidents, many of which were overdoses, accounted for nearly 8,700 deaths in 2020.  Relative to the size of its population, at 20.3 deaths per 100,000 population, the drug-induced death rate in the Southwestern U.S. was 30% below the national average in 2020.  This gave the U.S. Southwest the lowest regional drug-induced death rate that year.   In the U.S. Southwest, much higher death rates from most causes are typically seen in population groups in smaller communities and rural areas.  However, that generalization did not apply in 2020 to drug-induced deaths as the death rate from drug-related incidents ran lower in the Southwest among population groups in smaller communities and rural areas than it did in large central metro areas.  A closer review of data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reveals the following about urban vs. rural drug-induced death rates in the U.S. Southwest:

Urban vs. Rural Drug-Induced Death Rates in the U.S. Southwest

Urban vs. Rural Drug-Induced Death Rates in the U.S. Southwest

County Classification Deaths Population Death Rate*
Large Central Metro 4,213 19,280,005 21.9
Large Fringe Metro 937 7,012,596 13.4
Medium Metro 1,819 7,702,280 23.6
Small Metro 719 3,423,216 21.0
Micropolitan (Nonmetro) 622 3,284,626 18.9
NonCore (Nonmetro) 386 2,166,539 17.8
     Region 8,696 42,869,262 20.3
Nationally 96,096 329,484,123 29.2

(*) number of drug-induced deaths per 100,000 population

Report Period: 2020

States in region:  Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

See the 2013 NCHS Urban-Rural Classification Scheme for additional information on population categories, including a map of which U.S. counties fall in which categories.

Source: CDC Wonder. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2020 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2021. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2020, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed on March 8, 2023

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