Friday 12/3/21
CAUSES OF DEATH

Mortality in Spain grows 18% in the year of the pandemic

Suicide increased by 7% and was the main cause of external death, that is, other than diseases
01 November 2021, Spain, Barcelona: A woman places a flower on the grave where her relatives rest at the Poblenou cemetery on All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday dedicated to the memory of the deceased. Photo: Jordi Boixareu/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
A woman places a flower on the grave where her relatives rest at the Poblenou cemetery (Barcelona) on All Saints Day. Photo: Jordi Boixareu/dpa.

Deaths grew in Spain by 17.9% in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to the latest mortality data published on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The data compiled by the Spanish statistical office shoe that last year 493,776 people died in Spain. The greatest year-on-year increases in mortality occurred in the months of March (57.1%) and April (78.4%), when the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the country and showed its greatest lethality. 

The number of deaths increased with respect to the previous year every month except January, February and June

However, the coronavirus was not the main cause of death in 2020, but the third, with 16.4% of all registered deaths. The highest mortality rate was from diseases of the circulatory system (24.3%) and the second leading cause of death was tumors (22.8%).

The group of respiratory diseases ranked as the fourth cause of death, with 8.6%.

96.7% of deaths (477,698) that occurred in 2020 were due to natural causes, that is, diseases. That was 18.7% more than in 2019.

Infectious diseases

Deaths due to infectious diseases (includes Covid-19) increased 1,220.4%, while those caused by diseases of the circulatory system rose 2.8%. On the contrary, those due to diseases of the respiratory system and those caused by tumors decreased by 11% and 0.3%, respectively.

By gender, tumors were the leading cause of death in men (with 289.8 deaths per 100,000 men). For their part, diseases of the circulatory system were the main cause of female mortality (264.7 deaths per 100,000).

The 2020 death toll is the highest in 40 years on record. Until now, the highest mortality had occurred in 2018 (427,721 deaths).

In 2020, the mortality rate was 1,042.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The mortality rate was slightly higher among men (1,075.8 deaths per 100,000 residents) than among women (1,011 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants).

Suicide grew 7%

In 2020, there were 16,078 deaths caused by external causes (other than diseases), which is 63 or 0.4% less than in the previous year. By gender, 10,257 men died from these causes (0.2% more year-on-year) and 5,821 women (1.4% less).

Suicide remained the leading cause, with 3,941 deaths, 7.4% more than in 2019, followed by accidental falls (with 3,605 deaths and an increase of 9.3%) and drowning, submergence and suffocation (with 2,913 and a decrease of 10.3%).

In 2020, a total of 1,463 people died in traffic accidents (1,168 men and 295 women), which was 20.6% less than in 2019.

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