Murder has dropped off the list of the nation’s top 15 causes of death for the first time since 1965, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest annual report on deaths showed that homicides decreased enough in 2010 to be overtaken at No. 15 on the list by the respiratory illness pneumonitis.
The top two causes of death are heart disease and cancer. The two killers combined account for almost half of the 2.4 million deaths in 2010.
Murder has typically ranked fairly low on the list, and murder rates have declined in major cities in recent years. However, criminologists can’t explain the recent declines, The Associated Press reports.
In other good news from the report, the infant mortality rate is at an all-time low and the life expectancy for a child born in 2010 — 78 years and 8 months — has increased by a month over 2009.
Read the full report here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/