How Will You Die? Top 20 Leading Causes of Death in America

We all think about it at some point in our lives: how will I die? Will I be old? Sick? Will I die in an accident? We hear a lot of statistics and know a lot stories and people who died from cancer and most of us know somebody, even if distantly, that died in an accident.

But have you ever wanted to know how each method of death compares, statistically, to others? What are you more likely to die from, poisoning or automobile accident? Breast cancer or a heart attack? According to, which gathers statistics from the World Health Organization, UNESCO, and the Center for Disease Control (among others), 82% of all Americans will die from one of the twenty leading causes of death in the chart below.

So what is the leading cause of death in America? Coronary heart disease–the disease caused by clogged arteries. But perhaps surprising to some (considering all our artery-clogging food), statistically, fewer Americans die from heart disease than in most other countries. America, it turns out, does poorly with Alzheimer’s disease: in fact, America has the third-highest number of deaths due to Alzheimer’s in the world.

Check out the chart below for all the facts and comparisons.

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