Causes of Death

Humans have perished due to a number of causes throughout history. Natural disasters, wars, famine, diseases, and accidents have all had a devastating impact on the human population. This article will touch on the most common causes of death among humans throughout history and how they have changed over time.


Disease is the leading contributor to death in humans around the world. While there have been tremendous advances in medical science, it remains a major public health issue. The World Health Organization reports that communicable diseases (such as malaria, air and water-borne infections) are a major cause of death in most parts of the world, especially among children and young adults.

Non-communicable diseases such as stroke, even cancer result in increased deaths year after year. According to WHO’s estimates, published in September 2020, the non-communicable diseases account for 12.5% of all deaths annually worldwide with a disproportionate burden among lower-income countries. Specifically, cardiovascular diseases contributed up to 45% of global deaths due to noncommunicable disease while cancer accounted for 23% of these annual deaths worldwide.

Other causes like unintentional injuries (due to acts like road traffic accidents), suicide as well as drug abuse are also significant contributors to death globally with most age groups impacted by these causes respectively.

On a global level, it is reported that about 60 million people died in 2019 due to various causes including aging population leading cause such as chronic respiratory diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders.


War is one of the leading causes of death for humans throughout recorded history. War-related deaths can result from direct combat, accidents, disease or starvation. The number of human deaths that can be attributed to war is estimated to range between 150 million and 1 billion people over the course of recorded history.

Most war-related deaths have occurred in the twentieth century, with estimates ranging from 60 million to 80 million, largely due to improved strategic strategies and automation during World War II. The ten deadliest single events are grouped together in this century. These events include:

  • World Wars I and II
  • China’s Taiping and Communist civil wars
  • The Anshi Rebellion in China (756–763)
  • India’s partition and its subsequent violent conflict in 1947
  • The Korean War (1950–1953)
  • Vietnam War (1955–1975)
  • Mongol conquests (1206–1324)
  • Russia’s Soviet Union purges (1929–45)

The majority of victims from these wars were civilians killed accidentally or because of malnutrition or mistreatment during war operations. Civilian death rates vary widely everywhere from 10 percent in some US conflicts to 90 percent in a conflict like Colombia’s civil war which lasted for more than fifty years.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are events that occur naturally, such as earthquakes, landslides, heat waves, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and tsunamis. They can cause wide-scale destruction and death and are one of the major causes of mortality worldwide. The severity of these incidents can vary greatly depending on the region. For example, parts of India are particularly vulnerable to flooding because of monsoon rains that bring high humidity to the area. Additionally, many coastal areas globally can be devastated by typhoons or tsunamis caused by seismic activity in their oceans or seas.

The death tolls resulting from natural disasters depend on the type of disaster and how much prior warning the population had in advance. Some areas with high populations may not have the warning systems in place to warn about impending disasters like tsunamis or cyclones for example. Other issues such as infrastructural weaknesses or existing poverty levels have profound repercussions when natural disasters occur; these impacts can be felt both during and after the incident occurs as resources become limited or contaminated due to damages caused by the disaster-affected environment.

In conclusion, natural disasters are an ever present threat on a global scale that cause significant loss of life every year. Therefore it is imperative for countries worldwide to continue to increase their preparedness and response capabilities for these devastating events when they occur.


Accidents are the fifth leading cause of death globally, killing approximately 7.9 million people every year. Among young people between the ages of 15 and 29, accidents are the leading cause of death worldwide. Additionally, accidents take a particularly severe toll on low- and middle-income countries, claiming as many as 80% of all injury-related deaths in this population.

Accident fatalities may occur due to various causes, including automobile, drowning, falls, fires or burns, poisoning and natural disasters. Traffic accidents employ a range of risk factors like speeding and drunk driving while drowning deaths are typically caused by unsafe swimming habits or physical exhaustion due to natural circumstances like rip currents or excessive time spent in water activities. Falls account for 86% of accidental home injury deaths worldwide; many of these can be prevented by installing safety measures such as rails at home or making sure there is no slippery surface at places where falls may occur more frequently like tiles on a kitchen floor. Furthermore, fires caused by negligence with exposed wires or gas cylinders contribute to many home accident fatalities that can be curbed with preventive measures like fire alarms and proper storage units for flammable liquids. Poisoning deaths could be fatal due to substances found in homes such as pesticides or carbon monoxide which may variably affect different age-groups differently depending on their physical activity levels or ingestion capacity. Natural disasters such as earthquakes could lead to construction collapses due to earthquakes which can also prove fatal due to lack of awareness on how buildings were made or what precautions an individual should take while they find themselves caught in a disaster situation.

See also  How to factory reset a Xbox series X?

It’s paramount that individuals understand that common sense approaches may guard against a lot of these accidental fatalities while governments should keep strict safety measures against companies who neglect them knowingly or unknowingly so that the amount of risk associated with a public area is minimalized significantly. Understanding the patterns behind different causes and their risk factors helps us design better policies that reduce their impact so that individuals have more knowledge when it comes to protecting themselves from potential hazardous situations instead relying solely on reactive management strategies once an event has already taken place.

Historical Death Toll

Death is an inevitable part of life, but understanding its true toll is essential to understanding the many challenges human beings have faced throughout history. Taking a look at the death toll of disasters and wars can provide insight into some of the darkest moments in human history.

In this article, we will explore the historical death toll of humans throughout the ages:

World War II

World War II was one of the deadliest wars in world history. Millions of people were killed in military actions, in concentration camps, as civilians, and from disease and starvation. Although precise numbers are hard to determine due to missing records, it is estimated that between 50 million and 85 million people were killed during the Second World War.

For comparison, it is estimated that between 20 million and 30 million people died during World War I with 6 million of those being Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Other areas of the world saw tremendous losses during this time as well. In mainland China, estimates range from 10 to 25 million casualties; East Asia suffered an additional 10 to 15 million losses; Eastern Europe experienced 14 to 18 million casualties; while Russia endured around 20 to 27 deaths.

The grievous toll on human lives during WWII had far-reaching implications that are still felt today. The war not only altered countries’ political structures but also altered the course of international relations for generations after it ended in 1945.

Spanish Flu

The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. It has been estimated that anywhere between 17 and 100 million people were killed by this virus, with some estimates exceeding even that level. The global population at the time was less than two billion, so even the lower estimations quickly factor to more than 5 percent of people living then killed by it.

The Spanish Flu had a devastating impact around the world, as well as on parts of Europe and Asia where it was particularly widespread. The mortality rate also varied from region to region. While in some areas the death toll reached 3-5% of the population, in other parts—like Spain—it exceeded 20%. It is worth noting that these rates are likely much lower than whatever the true number is since many cases went unreported or misdiagnosed due to lack of knowledge and resources at the time.

The Spanish Flu marked a major turning point in medical history as well as in understanding infectious diseases and their potential impacts on populations worldwide. With better understanding, public health intervention could be carried out more effectively in order to limit virus mortality rates, including strategies ranging from widespread vaccination campaigns to quicker implementation of preventive measures, such as social distancing or shelter-in-place orders.

Black Death

The bubonic plague, better known as the Black Death, is estimated to have claimed the lives of over 75 million people in Europe and Asia between 1300 and 1350. This pandemic caused incredible suffering and death all across Medieval Europe, with an estimated mortality rate of 60%. It’s considered one of the most devastating pandemics in human history due to its prevalence and rapid spread through an increasingly interconnected world.

The Black Death was responsible for shortening life expectancies by almost a quarter of their pre-plague levels and fundamentally changed society by forcing people to confront mortality on a daily basis. This plague saw close to 50% of Europe’s population wiped out; some estimates put that much higher at around 75–200 million people total. It left governments devastated and citizens terrified, drastically altering political power structures as well as peasants’ access to education and resources for generations after its end. The effects of the Great Mortality were felt worldwide both culturally and economically with long-lasting impacts still visible today.

Other Wars

In addition to the two World Wars, many other wars have killed large numbers of people throughout history. These include numerous civil wars within nations and unsurprising worldwide conflicts with attendance from many countries.

One of the first major recorded wars was the Peloponnesian War. This conflict affected most of the city-states in Greece from 431–404 BC and resulted in an estimated 1 million deaths. Moving forward in time, the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) is thought to have killed at least 8 million people – primarily due to famine and disease – across Central Europe. The French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802) claimed just as many lives, involving Austria, Prussia, Great Britain and Russia against Republic France. The Napoleonic Wars (1803–15) are still remembered today; however, fewer than 1 million in total perished during this conflict between European coalitions and France’s attempted hegemony.

East Asia saw its own share of battles with sizable fatalities over different timescales:

  • 3 million were lost during the Taiping Rebellion (1850–64).
  • 10–25 million during China’s Warlord Period (1916–28).
  • 20 million during World War II-related atrocities on China itself (1937–45).
  • 2.5 million more in South Korea/China during that war.
  • 3 million over 8 years of civil strife between North and South Vietnam (1959–75).
  • Roughly 1 million throughout Indochinese conflicts following 1975.
  • An added 800,000 who passed away for other reasons between 1950 and 2000 related to Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia wars.
See also  Was the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania?

In total, at least 62 million people died due to warfare outside of World Wars I or II since 431 BC – it could be concluded that most beings no longer living faced some violent conflict while they were alive at one time or another since our species began roaming planet earth millions of years ago.

Modern Death Toll

Death has been a part of human life since the beginning of time. While there have been wars, famines, and pandemics since ancient times, there is no way to accurately count the death toll over the years. However, it’s still possible to get an impression of the modern death toll, which can provide interesting insight into how mortality has changed over the years.

Let’s take a look at how many humans have died due to major events in recent decades:

Global Mortality Rates

Global mortality rates refer to the number of deaths in a given population over a specified period of time. It is a measure used to determine the health or mortality rate of a population, as well as its age structure. Over the centuries, global mortality rates have varied greatly, both regionally and historically.

For more modern societies, death tolls are more accurately measured due to advances in medical knowledge, population estimates and technological improvements. Global death tolls take into account deaths from all causes, including infectious diseases such as malaria or AIDS; noncommunicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease; maternal deaths; and infant mortality rates.

World Health Organization estimates show that in 2017 the global death toll was approximately 56 million people across all age groups and genders. This is an increase of 3 million since 2016 and nearly double the figure seen in 2000. Chronic diseases such as cancer were responsible for around 70% of world deaths in 2017 with cardiovascular disease accounting for 31%. Infectious diseases caused 17% of global fatalities while maternal and infant mortality made up 14%.

These figures also show that adults aged between 15-60 account for most global deaths while adolescents aged 10-14 make up just 1%. Mortality among infants under one year old has decreased steadily since 1980 but there is still an average rate of around 28 per 1000 live births globally – a rate that is higher in less developed countries compared to wealthier countries.

Causes of Death in Developed Countries

In developed countries, death rates are relatively low due to factors such as access to advanced medical care, adequate food and clean drinking water. However, there are still numerous causes of death which can be further divided into five major categories: cardiovascular/heart disease, cancer/tumors, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases and accidental injuries/deaths.

  • Cardiovascular/Heart Diseases: This is the leading cause of death in most industrialized countries accounting for approximately 42% of all deaths in developed nations. Common causes include heart attack (myocardial infarction), congestive heart failure, high blood pressure (hypertension) and stroke (cerebrovascular accident).
  • Cancer/Tumors: Cancer accounts for almost a quarter of all deaths in developed nations and affects virtually every major organ system in the body from bones to skin. Commonly occurring types include leukemia (blood cells), lung cancer (respiratory systems) and breast cancer (women).
  • Respiratory Diseases: Respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death among people living in industrialized countries. Common ailments range from asthma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder; influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis are also risk factors for dying prematurely in these areas.
  • Infectious Diseases: Infectious illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and other tropical ailments remain a challenge even in well-developed societies due to global travel patterns allowing new pathogens to invade immunologically naive populations. Other common infectious conditions linked to death include gastroenteritis and childhood illnesses like measles or mumps that have become a rarity where vaccination programs are good but can still kill without treatment.
  • Accidental Injuries: Accidental injuries account for 10% of all deaths annually worldwide including those caused by motor vehicle or pathogenic exposure or related incidents such as drug overdoses, electrocutions or fires on fire.

Causes of Death in Developing Countries

Deaths among both adults and children in developing countries are most often caused by preventable and treatable conditions. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of disease-related deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries. In 2018, a total of 65.2 million people died worldwide, with 62 percent dying in low- to middle-income countries.

Causes of death in these countries may be divided into three broad categories: communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, and unintended violence. Communicable diseases represent the majority of causes of death globally (24.1 million). They include diarrhea, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, dengue fever and other vector borne diseases; worm infections; leprosy; pertussis; rubella; pneumonia; meningitis; measles and other acute respiratory infections; hepatitis B virus infection combined with lower respiratory infections.

Noncommunicable diseases account for 16 million deaths (24.3%), mostly from cardiovascular disease (8.7), cancer (5), chronic respiratory disease (2m) and diabetes mellitus (.3m). Intentional violence causes 1.4 million deaths each year—the majority by suicide or self-harm—with another 398 fatal unintentional injuries resulting from traffic incidents, falls or accidental drownings occurring daily across the world’s growing urban populations.

Impact of Death on Society

Death is a part of life and has touched every corner of the globe throughout history. Even though every culture and religion holds death differently, it is a common experience shared by all human beings.

See also  How many Muslim models are there?

The impacts death has on society, both emotionally and economically, can be devastating and its effects can be seen ranging from individual to global levels.

Social Impact

The social impact of death on the lives of individuals, families and communities is profound. Death has been estimated to be responsible for 10% of the global population, with approximately 150,000 people dying each day around the world. The immense number of deaths also affects society in other ways such as reducing labor forces and influencing economic growth rates.

In addition to purely economic considerations, death also carries with it psychological and social implications that can greatly alter an individual’s and a family’s frame of life. Bereavement can bring up a variety of emotions including sadness, guilt, fearfulness and even relief among surviving relatives. People often isolated themselves after losing a loved one to cope, or because they are uncomfortable sharing their emotions with family and friends.

Death also brings financial burdens to families as funeral services can be expensive depending on the circumstances. Without proper planning or established survivors’ benefits resources available benefiting from life insurance policies will be difficult to secure in a timely fashion. As funerals generally occur within weeks from the date of death physical preparation could also be hindered.

Traditions honoring deceased individuals are quite common globally however vary by culture or faith tradition. For example September 13th has been designated as a day for Americans to commemorate Memorial Day which offers thoughts and prayers for those who have passed away in service for their nation ever since 1868. Some faiths include performances such as remembrance gatherings in honor of deceased loved ones which is believed to support spiritual healing within their respective faith communities (Fenelon). On other occasions members create slideshows or photo albums highlighting memories shared between them after minimal effort financially but greater effort emotionally concerned in gathering all meaningful memories into a unique compilation markable documentation that could be treasured over time as living memories.

Economic Impact

Death has a tremendous economic impact on society. Human mortality not only affects those who have passed away, but also the people in their families, their communities, and even the entire economy. In some cases, burial or cremation costs alone can be financially devastating to a family or community. Yet, funerary costs only account for a fraction of the economic force of death on society as a whole.

Death affects the economy through both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs can include lost productivity due to declines in labor supply, lost consumer spending due to reduced income following death of a primary earner, changes in housing markets due to migration related to death, and labor market distortions caused by unequal risk-sharing among individuals following death (e.g., if an individual leaves behind minimal assets). Indirect costs can include changes in retirement and health insurance benefits for survivors as well as increased demand for public services such as education or safety net programs for dependents of deceased individuals who lack sufficient funds for basic needs like food or shelter.

The magnitude of these economic impacts varies widely from nation to nation based on local demographics such as family size and workforce composition. However, what is clear is that all countries are affected – both financially and emotionally – by the loss of life from disease, natural disasters, war and other causes.

Political Impact

Death has an undeniable impact on society. From a political perspective, the consequences of mortality can be significant. The effect of a single human life lost can ripple beyond the individual and reverberate through families and communities. It is often said that each person’s death is felt by everyone who has ever known him or her, so death in its most personal sense can impact millions over time.

Politically, death often brings about social reform. After moments of tragedy, such as war or natural disaster, more stringent safety regulations are generally enacted to prevent future occurances. These regulations are designed to improve health and safety conditions in an effort to protect people from experiencing any more loss or suffering.

Governments also use mortality statistics in order to make decisions regarding public policy and expenditures, using these data points to make informed decisions that reflect the needs of their people. These data also help determine educational plans that reduce potential risk factors for premature death—such as:

  • Substance abuse prevention programs
  • Socio-economic policies aimed at reducing poverty rates and improving access to healthcare resources for vulnerable populations throughout society.

In this way, death has a broad influence on political decision-making throughout the world.


The exact number of people who have died throughout the world’s history is estimated to be between 107 and 108 billion, although it is impossible to accurately determine the exact figure. This estimate includes all people who have ever lived, regardless of time period, geographical location or culture.

Over the course of human history, we have experienced many events that have had a drastic impact on life expectancy and mortality rates. From natural disasters, disease outbreaks and famines to wars and other forms of violence inflicted upon humans by other humans – these events all contribute to an altered demographic structure within societies. In turn, they produce an overall decrease in life expectancy among populations affected by such severe events.

As our understanding of science and technology continues to progress throughout time, we will likely see improved life expectancies around the world due to improved prevention measures for conditions such as infectious diseases. However, given that death is an inevitable part of human life for one reason or another, it is unlikely that this number will ever decrease substantially from its current levels.

By Reiki

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *