Mortality Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2020

What does this measure?

The number of deaths broken down by race/ethnicity, expressed as a rate per 100,000 population.

Why is this important?

Mortality rates are a measure of the overall health of a community, which is affected by a wide variety of factors, including genetics, lifestyle, economic status and other societal influences including structural racism.

How does our county compare?

African Americans in Lancaster County had the highest mortality rate in 2020, at 840 per 100,000 people, higher than whites (772) and Hispanics (748). Rates among African Americans and whites in Lancaster County were lower than the state rates, while Lancaster's rate among Hispanics was similar to the state's (740).

Among comparison counties, Lancaster had a lower morality rate among African Americans than York (1,150), Dauphin (1,087), and Chester (1,055). Lancaster also had a lower mortality rate among Hispanics compared to surrounding counties with the exception of Chester which had a rate of 539 per 100,000.

Why do these disparities exist?

Except at the very oldest ages, African Americans have the highest death rates of any of America's racial and ethnic groups. Much of this can be attributed to inequalities in economic status, education and occupation -- all of which are related to the risk of mortality. Structural racism drives several key social determinants of health, such as lower levels of income and generational wealth; less access to healthy food, water and public spaces; environmental damage; and the stress of prolonged discrimination. Black Americans receive less and lower-quality care for conditions like cancer, heart problems, pneumonia, prenatal and maternal health, and overall preventive health.

Notes about the data

Data come from a federal government survey designed to collect scientific data on health risks and behaviors. The data reported are for moving three-year averages. Berks and Schuylkill county data is combined by the survey and reported together. Similarly, Dauphin and Lebanon counties and Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties are reported as groups of counties.

Rates are age-adjusted, meaning adjusted to account for differences in age distributions across geographies. Data is not available when count is less than 10, data or population is not available, or population estimate is less than 10. Rates based on small numbers are considered unreliable for analysis.

Mortality Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2020
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoTotalWhite
Lancaster County840.1747.5796.9771.9
Chester County309.11,055.2539.1721.9708.9
York County1,149.6960.7861.8835.6
Dauphin County1,086.6816.2863.3789.1
Berks County708.0781.0834.0809.8
Lebanon County986.1886.6
Cumberland County780.0

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health
Notes: 100,000 population, age-adjusted

Total Deaths by Race/Ethnicity, 2020
Asian or Pacific IslanderBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoTotalWhite
Lancaster County1612626,0715,653
Chester County573211144,6784,219
York County2581575,0074,615
Dauphin County5341253,0332,302
Berks County1553964,6184,238
Lebanon County1011,813
Cumberland County2,775

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health
Notes: These data were provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department specifically disclaims responsibility for any analyses, interpretations, or conclusions.