ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The U.S. death rate is on the decline.

Preliminary date for 2022 from the Centers for Disease Control showed a 5.3% decline in deaths, compared to 2021. Deaths from COVID-19 dropped by nearly half between 2021-2022.

The CDC reported that the top three causes of death last year were heart disease, cancer and unintentional injuries. COVID-19 was the fourth.

The agency’s team also found that non-Hispanic Black, Native American and Native Alaskan people faced the highest odds of dying last year.

The new data is helping to serve as a guide for public health policies aimed at reducing mortality, especially for the most at-risk populations.