Cause of Death Cards

About the Data

These cards are based on US census data for 2014 (and 2004 for the improvement rate). 

The cause of death grouping are based on the groupings used for the US census reporting. The following data is contained on the cards:

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Title: Short version of the name

Name: Full version of the name and ICD10 codes that define this group

Number of Deaths: The number of deaths by this cause in the US in 2014

Rate per 1000: This is the death rate per 1000 people of the US population

10 Year Improvement: The improvement in the death rate per 1000 in from 2004 to 2014

Male / Female Ratio: The ratio of male death rate to female death rate, note this is adjusted for the difference in the population between males and females

Race Rate: This is displayed as the race that has the highest death rate due to this cause and the rate per 1000. The race classifications used in the US census are White, Black, Asian, Native American

Under 65 rate per 1000: This is the rate per 1000 for individuals aged under 65

Over 65 rate per 1000: This is the rate per 1000 for individuals aged 65 and older

Note: Where the number of deaths is so low as to be unreliable we have not included the data.


How to Play Top Trumps

Note: We recommend removing the last 2 cards in the deck (Meningococcal Infection and War) as these contain several unreliable data elements and would be severely disadvantaged. This leave 42 cards in the deck.

There must be at least two players, and at least one card for each player. The starting player (normally the player sitting on the dealer's left) selects a category from his or her topmost card and reads out its value. Each other player then reads out the value of the same category from their cards. The largest value (you may call either ratio of male deaths or female deaths to define the value) wins the "trick", and the winner takes all the cards of the trick and places them at the bottom of his or her pile. The winner then looks at their new topmost card, and chooses the category for the next round.

In the event of a draw the cards are placed in the center and a new category is chosen from the next card by the same person as in the previous round. The winner of that round obtains all of the cards in the center as well as the top card from each player.

Players are eliminated when they lose their last card, and the winner is the player who obtains the whole pack.


The cards can also be used for general trivia, for example players may try to guess the 10 year improvement rate or ratio of deaths between males and females.

Feedback and Request More Decks

We plan to update these cards as new data is available. If there are any improvements or suggestions we would love to hear them.

Also if you want additional decks, we will be happy to send them subject to availability.

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