This week's theme: we are mere mortals...
... MORE LIKELY THAN BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Risk of death from a lightning strike has declined in the U.S. (though men still face higher risk of death by lightning than women do) according to data from CDC.
But injuries and hospitalizations from distracted walking are on the rise. (Insert punch line about how people can't walk and talk at the same time...)
THE CITY IS SAFER
While crime rates tend to be higher in urban areas than in rural ones, accidental injuries and death (mostly from automobile accidents) are considerably higher in rural areas than in urban ones -- so much higher, in fact, that cities are actually "safer," from a mortality risk perspective.
As Emily Badger writes in The Atlantic CITIES:
Yes, homicide-related death rates are significantly higher in urban parts of the country. But that risk is far outweighed by the fact that you're about twice as likely to die in a car crash in rural America than you are in the most urban counties. Nationwide, the rate of "unintentional-injury death" – car crashes, drownings, falls, machinery accidents and the like – is about 15 times the rate of homicide death. Add together all the ways in which you might die prematurely by intentional or unintentional injury (as opposed to illness), and your risk of death is actually about 22 percent higher in the most rural counties in America than in the most urban ones.The full report "Safety in Numbers: Are Major Cities the Safest Places in the United States?" is published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Note: Also, as Emile Durkheim noted many decades ago, deaths from suicide also follow measurable social and demographic patterns. More dense urban areas tend to have lower rates of suicide than less dense rural areas do.
JUST FOR FUN
Ice cream consumption is strongly correlated with murder, and other ridiculous correlations (via Buzzfeed).
BEST CHART OF THE WEEK
Quite possibly the best example that correlation does NOT equal causation:
|Source: Bad Psychology|
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
- Healthy living after age 65 (summary of findings from CDC report on life expectancy and healthy years of life expectancy, by state)
- 6 things you need to know about the new U.S. population estimates
- When good people do bad things with data