The 2000 U.S. standard population was created in the late 1990's because there were a number of standard populations being used to calculate age-adjusted mortality rates. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) used the U.S. 1940 population, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) used the U.S. 1970 population, and others at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were using the U.S. 1980 or 1990 population. Rates produced with different standard populations cannot be compared, which resulted in difficulties experienced by data users in comparing these rates. These organizations recognized that to avoid confusion, the entire federal (as well as state and local) statistical community should use the same standard for their official incidence and mortality rates. This was accomplished by an agreement among selected federal and state agencies to use a new standard based on the U.S. 2000 population1.

The 2000 U.S. standard population has been in use for mortality data since 19992. There are no plans to change from the 2000 standard as it is widely accepted and statistically sound.

1 Anderson RN, Rosenberg HM. Report of the Second Workshop on Age Adjustment. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 4(30). 1998.

2 Anderson RN, Rosenberg HM. Age standardization of death rates: Implementation of the year 2000 standard. National vital statistics reports; vol 47 no 3. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 1998.