Where do people die?

Is there any research on where people tend to die, ie xx% in a hospital, xx% at home, in the car, on the toilet, etc?

I just tried googling “location at death” and found studies comparing death rates between home and hospital, but not location in general. Got to figure out the right search terms.

It varies widely depending on what state you live in, but nationally, in 2001, 49.5% of deaths occurred in a hospital, 23.2% occurred at a nursing home, and 23.4% occured at home.


a little piece of macbre trivia I once heard :
Nobody has ever died on an airplane in flight. The reason: you aren’t dead until a licensed doctor says so, and signs a form for the local authorities. So heart attack victims are taken off the plane after an emergency landing at the nearest airport, and location of death is listed as the local hospital.
My perfectly reliable source: a friend of a friend who once worked as a flight attendant , telling stories after a few beers. (hey,you don’t like it–ask uncle Cecil-- he gets paid for his answers. :slight_smile:

And it’s these type stats that many use to support mindless opinions. “I’m not going to the hospital! More people die there than anywhere else!”
Duh. Were do they go when deathly ill or fatally injured? And retirement homes? What is the average age of the occupant and what is the usual reason for them to cease being a resident?

I have likewise been told that nobody dies at a Disney theme park - you can blow your head off in front of Cinderella’s Castle, but you’re not “dead” until you leave the park.

Doesn’t the word “hospital” mean “the place where you go to die?” (Coming from the same root word as “hospice”.)

My grandmother would be one to employ this sort of logic. She has a deep distrust of modern medicine and every time she hears of a medical mistake it just further cements it in her mind.

Many (advanced care) paramedics are allowed to declare death in many jurisdictions, many patients do not need to be taken to hospital to be declared dead.

Patients who die in a nursing home, jail, institution run by the government, etc. need to have (in Ontario) the circumstances surrounding their death reviewed by a coroner – as does any death in hospital, suspicious death, work or traffic accident, etc. Some of these cases are autopsied. I suspect gabriela could say a lot more about this then I could.

Isn’t this along the lines of the quiz question, “If a plane crashes on the border between the US and Mexico, where would the survivors be buried?”

Bars and brothels are still relatively safe, eh? Good!

I haven’t been able to discover anything but these statistics for lavatorial fatalities and, regrettably, they concern only those instances involving snakes. Incidentally, such fatalities are on the increase according to the FBS.

I must also comment that your OP lacks clarity. Toilets are in situ in most hospitals and homes although I confess I have never seen one in an automobile. Therefore we must expand your criteria, as follows:

  1. In hospital on the toilet
  2. In hospital not on the toilet
  3. At home on the toilet
  4. At home not on the toilet
  5. On the toilet, location unspecified
  6. In the car
  7. Etc.

It further occurs to me that someone with your username should already be in possession of the statistics relating to toilet deaths, especially where they involve defecation.


This is true in every U.S. jurisdiction that I am aware of. Some require consultation with a doctor and others do not, but either way, the patient is never transported to the hospital.

St. Urho

The statistics were lovely, but they puzzled me because they do not include the streets.

I have to fill out a box on the death certificate marked “Where” for every death that is not due to natural causes. It doesn’t require an address. But it is pretty specific about locations outside. I have written “Alley”, “Car”, “Street”, “Front yard,” “Sidewalk”, “Back yard”, “Parking lot” (many times, usually outside a bar - usually a multiple gunshot wound homicide), “Ditch,” “Pond”, “River”, “Beach”, and “Bay”.

So where do we fit those people into the hospital, home, and nursing home stats?

You never worked in DC. Idiots there had a law that the only people who could declare death were doctors. Later amended to include hospice nurses. Later amended to include physician’s assistants working as death investigators to the medical examiner’s office.

This led to the really ridiculous situation where ambulances would pull up to the back door of the DC General ER, and some polite doc with a sixteen-syllable name would come out and wave, and the paramedics would write down “Dr Naghilakshmiakhiturniotovski pronounced death at 1603.”

In Tennessee, anybody could pronounce death. Laymen. You smell him, you find him, you point and say, “He’s daid!” Guess what. That’s when he’s daid.

Made more sense than the District of Columbia way.

And there aren’t any licensed doctors on airplane flights, ever? I’d think it’s fairly common to have doctors on airplane flights.

Don’t know if they would sign any forms though. Just check, and inform the flight crew that yes, this person is truly dead. (And why would they make an emergency landing at the nearest airport? Why bother, the person is dead. And besides, there’s a good chance that the original destination is where his home/family is.)


gabriela- Happily that’s changed. (I checked).


In a lavatory!!

On a plane!!!


I’ve been on maybe five or six flights where they called for a doctor’s assistance. No one died due to, or in spite of, whatever care I provided. But if they had, I could presumably have declared them dead. And the flight attendants I talked to said that there often IS a doctor on the flight when they call for one – doctors probably travel more than usual; many planes have 500 people on board and the doctor ratio in many Western countries is 1:1000 or better…

…so basically, I doubt it’s true that “no one has died on an airplane on flight”.