The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report of a decline in mortality rate, from “747.0 deaths per 100000 populations in 2010 to 740.6 deaths per 100000 populations,” is an example of probability, a comparative probability. The first section of the compound probability means that for every 100000 people in the target society, 747 died and the statement means that in the year 2010, a member of the society had a probability of dying of 0.00747. The second part of the compound probability shows that for every 100000 people in the population, 740 died in the year 2011 with the implication that each person had a probability of 0.00741 of dying in the year 2011. The compound probability, however, offers a basis for comparing the probability of death in the society and indicates that people had a lower likelihood of dying in the year 2011 as compared to their probability of dying in the year 2010. This offers a basis for understanding factors affecting death rates towards improving people’s welfare and increasing life expectancy by understanding significant factors that changed between the two years. The probability example is applicable to stakeholders to health care for determining initiatives for healthy living (Hoyert and Xu, 2012).
Probability defines the likelihood of an occurrence and is expressed as a comparative of a baseline. It is normally expressed as a percentage or as a fraction but can take assume different reference bases.