With 1602 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, Bulgaria had the highest death rate in the EU in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the bloc’s statistics agency Eurostat said on July 16.
It was followed by Latvia and Romania (both 1476), Lithuania (1455) and Hungary (1425).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest death rate across the EU member states was recorded in Spain (829 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants), ahead of France (838), Italy (843), Malta (882), Luxembourg (905) and Sweden (913).
The death rate was on average 1002 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants in the EU in 2016.
In 2016, 5.1 million people died in the European Union (EU), about 80 000 less than in the previous year.
One third of these deaths occurred among people aged less than 75 (1.7 million, 33 per cent), while 1.5 million people died between the ages of 75 and 85 (29 per cent) in 2016. 1.9 million of those who died were aged 85 and over (38 per cent).
Slightly over 1.8 million people died from diseases of the circulatory system (mainly heart attacks and strokes), while 1.3 million died from cancer in 2016. These were the two main causes of deaths in the EU, responsible for 36 per cent and 26 per cent of all deaths, respectively.
Diseases of the circulatory system were the main cause of deaths in all EU member states, except in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom where cancer was the main killer.
The third main cause of death in the EU was diseases of the respiratory system, which killed 422 000 people in 2016 (eight per cent of all deaths in the EU).
A significant share of deaths in the EU were also due to accidents and other external causes of deaths (237 000 deaths, five per cent of all deaths in the EU), diseases of the digestive system (222 000 deaths, four per cent), mental and behavioural diseases such as dementia (220 000 deaths, four per cent) and diseases of the nervous system including Alzheimer’s (219 000 deaths, four per cent), Eurostat said.
(Photo, of Sofia Central Cemetery: Bertramz)