The Day of the Dead celebration is this week, so we look at death in the U.S.
It’s a dead woman’s party
The origins of Day of the Dead trace back a few hundred years to an Aztec festival that honored their goddess of the dead, Mictecacihuatl. The Aztec party lasted a month. But the Catholic Church shrunk it to a couple of days, coinciding with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, usually the first two days of November.
You can learn more about Day of the Dead customs and celebrations here.
All Souls’ Day
Family and friends decorate altars with offerings such as candles, flowers, photos and meaningful memorabilia. It is believed that on this day, loved ones return from their eternal sleep to celebrate with their family and friends.
A look at mortality in the U.S.
2.92 million: Average annual deaths in U.S. from 2016-2020. Preliminary data for 2022 estimates 3.2 million deaths.
77 years: The life expectancy in the U.S. in 2020. Life expectancy for women was 80.2 and 74.5 for men.
It could be costly
Here are some average 2023 funeral prices for a viewing calculated by the National Funeral Directors Association of America:
Basic services fee $2,300
Embalming (some funeral homes may require you to pay for this, if you plan to hold a viewing) $775
Use of facilities $515
Transportation of remains $350
Preparation of the body $275
Printed materials Memorial package and guest book $183
How most people die
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans aged 1-44 years old.
The leading causes of death for unintentional injury include: poisoning (drug overdoses), motor vehicle, drowning and falls.
You can see the 10 leading causes of death by age group at the CDC here.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Census, National Center for Health Statistics
Group seeks to clear names in witchcraft injustice
How ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ went from cult classic to beloved Disney property
Here are tips to keep Halloween fun and safe: Roadshow
Candy inflation casts a sour pall on Halloween
CFP rankings and Pac-12 football teams as Halloween candy: It’s that time of year