March 15, 2023 |
Photo – WY Department of Vital Statistic Services Logo – Courtesy WY DOH
Fewer people died in Wyoming in 2022 than in either of the two previous years.
Fewer people were born, too. Marriages and divorces were down. The new statistical information was released Tuesday by the Vital Statistics Service, a division of the Wyoming Department of Health.
The number of deaths spiked in 2021 to 6,571, according to data from the VSS. The upward trend began in 2019 with 5,122 deaths and continued in 2022 5,986. Last year, the number of deaths fell from the peak to 5,886. The data comes from death certificates which are completed by attending physicians and coroners and then filed with VSS.
The trend during the pandemic years does not come as a surprise. According to VSS data, the number of deaths in Wyoming showed consistent, modest increases before the pandemic for several years largely due to the state’s aging population. National data indicates that the elderly was the age group most at risk from fatal complications throughout the pandemic.
Guy Beaudoin, VSS deputy state registrar, stated in a release from the state’s department of health that COVID-19 pandemic was a factor behind the sharply increased recorded deaths reported in 2020 and 2021.
The number of suicides in Wyoming was down last year to 149 from 190 in 2021. According to the VSS data, about 72 percent of suicide deaths in 2022 were due to firearms, with 22 percent due to hanging, and 4 percent due to poisoning.
According to the data, 93 deaths from drug overdoses occurred in 2022, down from 98 in 2021 and up slightly from 90 in 2020. Among the reported overdose deaths in 2022, 29 percent were linked with prescription drugs, 59 percent with illicit drugs and 10 percent involved a combination. Opioids can be either prescription drugs or illicit drugs and were connected to 72 of the reported overdose deaths last year. Fentanyl was linked with 48 of the deaths and methamphetamine with 47.
The top five causes of death in 2022, listed in order, were heart diseases, cancers, various types of accidents, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and COVID-19 at number five.
COVID-19 had been the third-leading cause of death in both 2020 and 2021.
The number of births was down last year from the previous two years. In 2022, 6,052 babies were born to Wyoming resident mothers as compared to 6,236 in 2021 and 6,568 in 2019.
VSS also maintains marriage and divorce records. In 2022, 4,227 marriages were reported, and 1,905 divorces were finalized. Marriages are generally on a par or up slightly from the pre-pandemic years. Divorces are down by 200 and 300 from 2020 and 2019.
According to the VSS, all numbers reported yesterday are considered provisional. Minor adjustments are expected as the data is finalized.