With 1631 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, Bulgaria had the highest death rate in the European Union in 2017, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on July 21, citing the most recent figures available for the bloc.
Among EU countries, the highest share of deaths due to diseases of the circulatory system was in Bulgaria (66 per cent) and the lowest in Denmark (23 per cent), while the highest share of deaths due to cancer was observed in Slovenia (32 per cent) and the lowest in Bulgaria (16 per cent), Eurostat said.
In 2017, diseases of the circulatory system were the main cause of deaths in all EU member states, except in Denmark, Ireland, France (2016 data) and the Netherlands where it was cancer.
Diseases of the circulatory system and cancers together represented more than half of the causes of deaths, ranging from 52 per cent in France (2016 data) to 82 per cent in Bulgaria. After these two diseases, the third main cause of death in most of the EU member states were diseases of the respiratory system.
To make a sound comparison between countries, the absolute numbers of deaths across the countries need to be adjusted to the size and structure of the population. With 1631 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, Bulgaria had the highest death rate in the EU in 2017. It was followed by Romania (1488), Latvia (1485), Hungary (1470) and Lithuania (1418).
At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest death rate across the EU member states was recorded in France (838 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants; 2016 data) and Spain (844), ahead of Italy (875), Luxembourg (911), Sweden (916) and Malta (927).
(Photo, of the main gate of Sofia Central Cemetery: Edal Anton Lefterov)
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