**The crude death rate can be calculated by taking the number of deaths caused by a disease and dividing that number by the total population at risk of contracting that disease.** The decimal is then multiplied by a constant, usually 1,000 or 100,000, to give a whole number.

An example of a crude death rate would be if 2,700 people died out of a population of 200,000, as the resulting decimal is 0.0135. Once this number is multiplied by 100,000, the end result is a crude death rate of 1,350 per every 100,000 individuals. Crude death rates are useful when an overall picture is needed and other factors do not apply. Age distributions of two populations may be different. In this case, the crude death rates would not be helpful to make a comparison.