Biggest cause of deaths in young people

External causes of death

External causes of death account for more than half of all deaths in young people aged 15-24 in England and Wales (2017 data). External causes include things like accidents and self-harm (amongst others). So, a large chunk of these deaths are likely to have been preventable.

Thankfully, the proportion of actual deaths in the population is relatively low. At 2,199 over all in 2017, this represents a death rate ranging from around 0.01% in young people aged 10-14, up to 0.03% aged 20-24.

Doughnut chart showing young people aged 15-24 mainly die from external causes.
Doughnut chart showing young people aged 15-24 mainly die from external causes (2017)

What are some of the other causes?

We created a tree map chart showing the other causes of death that are taking young peoples’ lives so early on. Cancers are the second biggest cause at 13.2%. Diseases of the nervous system and circulatory system come next.

Tree map showing causes of death in young people
Tree map showing causes of death in young people (2017)

How good is the data?

The data was taken from a link cited in the AYPH report ‘Key data on young people 2019‘. The original data comes from the ONS. Deaths data is considered to be almost a complete record.

We create infographics on all sorts of data to do with young people and youth culture. We believe that the more we can understand, the more we can help support our young people.

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