The American Family, 1909
William Cole Harrison, left, and family, 837 South Lake Street, Los Angeles, California, summer of 1909. Daisy, left rear, and Ray, right, were the only two of the Harrisons' nine children to have survived into adulthood.
U.S. Population: 90,500,000
Male – 50.5 years; Female – 53.8 years
Top 3 Causes of Death: Tuberculosis, Heart Disease, Diarrhea and Enteritis
"Taking first the division by decades of age, diarrhea, and enteritis is by far the most important cause of death of children under 12. This disease is even more important in the first five years, and especially in the first and second. Tuberculosis is supreme for the four decades covering the ages 10 – 49…"
— Census Report for 1909
The American Family, 2009
U.S. Population: 306,000,000
Male – 75.2 years; Female – 80.4 years
Top 3 Causes of Death: Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke
"…death rates for eight of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States all dropped significantly in 2006, including a very sharp drop in mortality from influenza and pneumonia."
— National Center for Health Statistics, 2008
To Find Out More
Despite the progress of the last 100 years, the U.S. health care system faces ongoing challenges, such as a gap in mortality rates between whites and people of color. To learn more about disease, mortality rates, and life expectancy, go to: