Organizations and agencies routinely track and publicize health and illness statistics, including tracking deaths and the illnesses from which those deaths resulted. One key statistic is the "crude death rate" ("CDR"). As explained by the World Health Organization ("WHO"), the CDR measures how many people die each year and why they died, which is one of the most important means – along with gauging how diseases and injuries are affecting people – for assessing the effectiveness of a country’s health system. Cause-of-death statistics help health authorities determine their focus for public health actions.
Calculating the crude death rate is not difficult. One simply takes the number of deaths in a geographic area divided by the population of that same geographic area and then multiply that fraction times 100,000, as illustrated by the New Jersey Department of Health.