Spain, with 829 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, is the European Union country with the lowest mortality rate, according to data published on Tuesday by Eurostat, the community statistics office, with data from 2016. Those with the highest rate they are Bulgaria (1,600), Latvia and Romania (both with 1,476). And, behind Spain, the countries with the lowest relative death rate are three other Mediterranean countries: France (838), Italy (843) and Malta (882).
The community average is 1,002 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. That year, 5.1 million people died in the EU, about 80,000 less than the previous year. One third of these deaths were of people under the age of 75 (1.7 million, 33%); 1.5 million were between 75 and 85 years old (29%); and 1.9 million were over 85 years old (38%).
The main causes of death
More than 1.8 million people died from diseases of the circulatory system, mainly heart attacks and strokes, in 2016. And 1.3 million died of cancer in 2016. These were the two main causes of death in the EU , responsible for 36% and 26% of all deaths.
Diseases of the circulatory system were the main cause in all EU Member States, except in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, where cancer was the main killer. And the third cause was diseases of the respiratory system , which killed 422,000 people in 2016 (8% of all deaths in the EU).
A significant part of deaths in the EU was also due to accidents and other external causes that Eurostat does not specify: 237,000 deaths, 5% of all deaths in the EU. In addition to diseases of the digestive system, with 222,000 deaths, 4%; mental illnesses and behavioral diseases such as dementia, which caused 220,000 deaths, another 4%; and diseases of the nervous system, including Alzheimer's, which caused 219,000 deaths, 4%.
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