What is the most common date of death?

Earlier this month we have discussed the fact that Oct. 5 is the most common birth date. ( Oct. 5 - most popular bday? ) But what is the most common date of death? It won’t necessarily be exactly the same date every year, but averaging over a long period of time there must be one date on which more people die than any other. Some possibilities I can think of

  1. Some day around Thanksgiving: lots of travelling and artery-clogging gravy
  2. Some day around Christmas: lots of stress, drinking, traveling, gravy, and (supposedly) an increased suicide rate
  3. New Years: lots of drunk driving

What, did your subscription to morbidity and mortality weekly reportrun out again? :slight_smile:

I don’t have the data by day, but evidentially the fifth week of this year was (thus far) the most deadly. See


Interestingly enough, last year and the year before, the high week was the 4th. In 1997, the high was in the second week of the year. That seems statistically significant.

My bet is Valentine’s day is the culprit. :slight_smile:

For searchable mortality statistics (by geographic region), see

Dang, that first link just isn’t working. Use the second link, and select “total” at the bottom of the list. That should give the same information.

I suppose in many ways I should have previewed that post. :slight_smile:

but here is an insteresting factoid:

Last year, towards the end of the year, the death rate dropped a little. Then, right after New Year, it shot up.

Apparantly, some people were holding out to see the New Millennium before they checked out. :slight_smile:

It is quite common for individuals to die on, or right after their birthday. Many people hold out for that day and then take the dirt nap.


I had thought of that… which means the most common date of death is probably October 6.

I have heard the statistic that the most common time and day of death is Monday morning at 9 a.m.

If only people could be at peace with their job, instead of dying to avoid it . . . .


Are you only talking about the most common date for Americans to die? Since the most populous country in the world is China, followed closly by India, they must also have the most number of deaths. The dates you mention don’t have much significance over there, so any small effect they have in this country will likely be overshadowed by random fluctuations in those countries.

My vote would be for some time in the winter. There is less food, some places aren’t adequately heated which results in the old standby, hypothermia. Flu outbreaks generally happen in the winter, and influenza is always a big killer. Also, the rainy season hits a lot of tropical regions in the winter, which results in a whole host of mosquito born diseases.

Well, I don’t know the MOST common day to die, but I can guess that the least common is February 29.