Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

10.3: Where Do People Die?

  • Page ID
    10238
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Gathering statistics on the location of death is not a simple matter. Those with terminal illnesses may be going through the process of dying at home or in a nursing home, only to be transported to a hospital in the final hours of their life. Thus, it should not be a surprise that in the United States, more Americans die in hospitals than in any other settings. However, as can be seen in figure 10.4, there has been a decline in the number of people dying in hospital in the last decade (Hall, Levant, & DeFrances, 2013). This decline can be tied to two changes in the U.S. health care system: Medicare, and other private insurance plans, covering the cost of hospice care, and Medicare paying hospitals to encourage less use of inpatient hospital care (IOM, 1997).

    Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 1.16.30 PM.png

    Internationally, 54% of deaths in over 45 nations occurred in hospitals, with the most frequent occurring in Japan (78%) and the least frequent occurring in China (20%), according to a study by Broad et al. (2013). They also found that for older adults, 18% of deaths occurred in some form of residential care, such as nursing homes, and that for each decade after age 65, the rate of dying in a such settings increased 10%. In addition, the number of women dying in residential care was considerably higher than for males.


    This page titled 10.3: Where Do People Die? is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Martha Lally & Suzanne Valentine-French.

    • Was this article helpful?