Using Provisional CDC Data Through 2020

Primary Data Source:

According to provisional CDC data (as of January 2022), AMONG AMERICANS AGED 15-24: the death rate of 84.2 per 100K observed in this age group for the year 2020 was 20.4% larger than the prior two-year average (2018-2019) for the same figure (70.0 per 100K). Among the extra +14.2 deaths per 100K observed in 2020, only 8.4% of this increase (+1.2 deaths per 100K) can be attributed to COVID-19.

Raw data: Deaths per 100k for those aged 15-24

2018 2019 2020
Cause of Death
All causes 70.2 69.7 84.2
Drug overdose 10.8 11.2 16.7
Homicide 10.7 11.2 15.2
Suicide 14.5 13.9 14.2
COVID-19 1.2

Barring a significant undercounting of COVID deaths among this age group (a plausibility to be sure), the data imply that up to 91.6% of the significant absolute increase in deaths observed for this age group in 2020 (above historical average) was not directly attributable to COVID-19. This finding suggests that while COVID-19 has no doubt been an extremely deadly disease for older populations, causes of death not directly related to COVID-19 have risen at an alarming rate for younger Americans.

A noticeable rise in drug overdoses and homicides among those aged 15-24

Change over 2-year average (comparing 2020 to 2018-2019)

Cause of Death
All causes +20.4%
Drug overdose +51.8%
Homicide +38.8%
Suicide +0.0%

As can be seen in the data above, homicide and drug-related deaths increased dramatically between 2019 and 2020. In absolute terms, homicides rose 38% above their historical two-year average (comparing 2020 to 2018-2019) and drug overdoses increased by more than 50% in the same time frame.