What are the most unusual ways that people die in each state? Researcher Francis Boscoe of the New York State Cancer Registry has answered that question by analyzing the deaths in each state from 2001 to 2010. His report doesn’t show the most common deaths per state, but rather the most distinctive. By that, he means deaths in each particular state that had a disproportionately high number compared to the national average.
There are certainly some surprising entries on the list, including syphilis, tuberculosis, and level intervention, which includes death by law enforcement. But just because a state has something listed as the most distinctive doesn’t necessarily mean its a great concern. The map is meant to be a “colorful and provocative way of starting some conversations and highlighting some unusual things that are going on,” said study co-author Francis Boscoe to Live Science. “If something is almost nonexistent everywhere in the country, but there’s a handful of them in one state, then that could show up.”