Why more people die on January 1 than at any other day of the year

While many people begin January either determined to get as fit and healthy as possible, or sleeping off hangovers, it appears that January 1 is actualy the most dangerous day of the year.

According to new research, carried out by a team at the University of California, deaths spike for the two weeks surrounding the Christmas and New Year period. But the day that you are most likely to die of natural causes is January 1.

The research team looked at death certificates over a quarter century period in America. While there is already a growing body of research showing that there is an increase in deaths related to self harm, accidents and murder during the festive season, this is the first to look at natural causes, which include illness, old age and disease.

Natural causes

Study authors found that there were five per cent more people dying on January 1 from natural causes than on any other day of the year. However, the research team was not categorically able to give the reason behind this trend.

Research author David Phillips said: “This pattern turns up in every natural cause of death, but not for external causes like auto accidents.┬áIt’s hard to understand why that would be. It’s not only a mystery, but a mystery that people haven’t even tried to engage with.”

His team are now recommending that more research needs to be carried out to determine the reasons behind the statistics. One of the reasons may be related to the colder weather over the festive season. Or, perhaps those who are very unwell manage somehow to hang on until after they spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with their families.

Famous deaths of January 1 in years gone by have included singer Patti Page, who died at the age of 85 in 2013 and American politician Dale Bumpers who died aged 90 last year.




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