Urban–Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 1999–2019

Select key findings
Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality

  • From 1999 through 2019, the rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.4 per 100,000 to 22.0 in urban counties and from 4.0 to 19.6 in rural counties.
  • In 2019, rates in rural counties were higher than in urban counties in California, Connecticut, North Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.


opioids, methamphetamine, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality (NVSS–M)


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From 2016-2019, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rates were higher in urban counties than in rural counties.


Suggested Citation:

Hedegaard H, Spencer MR. Urban–rural differences in drug overdose death rates, 1999–2019. NCHS Data Brief, no 403. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:102891.


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