Death rate down, life expectancy rate up, CDC report finds

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In 2009, the average life expectancy of a baby born in the U.S. climbed to 78.2 years, according to the new National Vital Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, the death rate fell to an all-time low.

The age-adjusted death rate fell from 758.7 deaths per 100,000 people to just 741 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. All told, 2,436,682 people died in the U.S. during 2009. Life expectancy for men rose from 75.5 years in 2008 to 75.7 years in 2009 and for women from 80.5 years to 80.6 years during that same time.

The average age of a nursing home resident is 79, with slightly more than half of all nursing home residents over the age of 85, according to statistics from the American Health Care Association. View the new CDC report online here.