Welcome to the State of California 

Cancer Mortality Data Trends for 2000-2010  DS 12-12000

California Total Population

Nationally and in California, cancer (malignant neoplasms) has been the second leading cause of death from 2000 through 2009, only to be exceeded by heart disease.1, 2  United States data was available through 2009.

The age-adjusted death rate for cancer was lower in California than the United States for each year during the study period.  The chart below displays California’s age-adjusted death rates from 2000 through 2010, compared with the available United States rates.

Cancer Age-Adjusted Death Rates, California and United States 2000-2010

California’s age-adjusted cancer death rate significantly declined from 2000 to 2010.  In 2010, the age-adjusted death rate for cancer per 100,000 California residents was 156.6, representing a decrease of 14.1 percent from a rate of 182.2 in 2000.  Beginning in 2008 to the current study period, California attained the Health People Objective 2020 in reducing the age-adjusted death rate for cancer of no more than 160.6.  Annual age-adjusted death rates are shown in Table 3 (PDF)Opens a new browser window..

Age Distribution of Cancer Deaths

The number of deaths in California from 2000 to 2010 was 2,571,224.  Cancer accounted for 23.3 percent of all deaths in California (N= 598,786).

The average age of death due to cancer was 70.5 years with a standard deviation of 14.4 years.  Approximately 70 percent of all cancer deaths occurred among those aged 65 and older.  Deaths due to cancer for those aged 65 to 84, accounted for 53.5 percent of deaths and those aged 85 and older represented 15.7 percent of cancer deaths.  The chart below shows the age distribution of cancer deaths for all California residents.

Age Distribution of Cancer Deaths in California, 2000-2010

Age-Specific Rates

The risk of dying from cancer increases with age.  The minimum and maximum annual age specific death rates per 100,000 population for 2000 through 2010 for age groups that had reliable rates during each study year were as follows:

     •    1-4 years (2.3, 3.6)
     •    5-14 years (2.1, 3.5)
     •    15-24 years (3.9, 5.0)
     •    25-34 years (8.2, 9.2)
     •    35-44 years (24.3, 32.1)
     •    45-54 years (89.2, 112.4)
     •    55-64 years (255.5, 325.1)
     •    65-74 years (576.0, 731.7)
     •    75-84 years (1,114.8, 1,247.8)
     •    85+ years (1,660.1, 1,786.1)
Please Note:  Age group under 1 was not shown due to unreliable rates.

Age-specific death rates showed significantly downward trends for most age groups — 1-4, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74 and 75-84.  Age-specific death rates during the study period remained stable for age groups 5-14, 15-24, 25-34 and 85 and older.  Annual age-specific cancer death rates for the California population are displayed in Table 2a (PDF)Opens a new browser window..

Crude Death Rates

During the study period, the actual risk of dying (or crude death rate) from cancer ranged from a high of 155.9 to a low of 148.1 per 100,000 population.  Annual cancer crude death rates for the California population are displayed in Table 2a (PDF)Opens a new browser window. under the “All Ages” column.

See the Technical Notes for information about rate calculation and trend analysis.


The average number of cancer deaths per year was 54,435 or approximately 150 deaths per day due to cancer in California.  The number of deaths increased every year relative to 2000.  There were slight fluctuations in number of deaths comparing year-to-year deaths. The largest amount of cancer deaths occurred in 2010 (N=56,124).

For additional information regarding the number of events, please see Technical Notes.

Number of Cancer Deaths in California, 2000-2010

Read More:
At a Glance
California Total Population
Male and Female Populations
Race/Ethnic Group Differences
Sex Differences Within Race/Ethnic Groups
County of Residence Populations
Tables (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
Technical Notes
Vital Statistics Query System

Helpful Resources
American Cancer Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California Cancer Registry


Last modified on: 1/20/2016 1:47 PM