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Calculating Mortality Rates
An abacus in the foreground, with a person in the background out of focus.
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medical sociology

How to Cite

Ridgeway, Sadie. 2022. “Calculating Mortality Rates”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, September. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This resources assists in teaching Medical Sociology students about common epidemiological measures and building a foundation for quantitative literacy. Following instructor set up of necessary skills, students complete the assignment provided. This assignment requires students to use a formula to calculate drug overdose death rates across two time...

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Subject Area(s):
Medical Sociology
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 200, College 300
Class Size(s):
Medium, Small

Usage Notes

The assignment includes data from the state my university is located in and two neighboring states. To be most relevant to your learning content, I recommend you modify the states in the data table to be relevant to the location of your university. This requires updating the table states and relevant state population and state drug death prevalence...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Calculate and interpret rates of disease.
  2. Compare and contrast common epidemiological measures.
  3. Draw accurate, sociological conclusions based on empirical disease and mortality data.
  4. Describe and interpret empirical data presented graphically.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. In-class discussion pre- and post- assignment allows evaluation of understanding.
  2. The assignment requires students to calculate rates of death across place and time, interpret, compare, and contrast mortality prevalence and rates, and interpret data displayed graphically.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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