Where Do Patients Die?

  • More than 90% of adults in the United States say that they would prefer to die at home.
  • In reality, overall, about one in two Americans who died from chronic illnesses in 2001 died in hospital setting.
  • The number of Americans who died at home increased between 1989 and 1997, but has stayed relatively constant since then.
  • There is significant state by state variation in the site of death.

Sites of Care at the End of Life

Site of Death: 1989 – 2001






62.3% 51.7% 49.5%

Nursing Home Unit

19.2% 23.0% 23.2%


15.9% 22.9% 23.4%
Source: Table created from data available at http://www.chcr.brown.edu/dying/brownatlas.htm. All results have been adjusted for age and gender against the 1990 U.S. census population.


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