“The New England Journal of Medicine looks at death reports in 200 years of back issues. The first thing to notice here is how much our mortality rate has dropped over the course of a century, largely due to big reductions in infectious diseases like tuberculosis and influenza.”
This infographic shows the main causes of death in 1900 in the United States and compares that with the 2010 figures. The United States, during that time underwent what many call the epidemiological transition (in essence, in developed societies we now die for different reason and generally live longer).
Questions to Ponder: What geographic factors shape mortality rates and shifts in the mortality rates? What is better about society today then before? Has anything worsened? How come?