COVID-19 is the Number One Cause of Death in the U.S. in Early 2021

A new issue brief examines the most recent data on deaths from COVID-19 and other causes, and finds that COVID-19 is currently the number one cause of death in the United States.

As of January 26, 2021, an average of more than 3,000 people per day died of COVID-19 in the U.S. during the first month of 2021 – a number nearly 50% higher than the next leading cause of death. Heart disease, which is typically the number one cause of death in the U.S. each year, leads to the death of about 2,000 Americans per day, and cancer claims about 1,600 American lives per day.

The issue brief is available in full on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.