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Hungary has fifth highest death rate in EU

Hungary has posted the fifth highest death rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the European Union, according to recent research published by the EUʼs statistical office Eurostat, based on 2016 data. The country continues to struggle with population decline, despite government efforts to reverse the trend.

Chart: Eurostat

Eurostat says that the absolute numbers of deaths across EU Member States are adjusted to the size and structure of the population. With 1,602 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, Bulgaria had the highest death rate in the EU in 2016, followed by Latvia and Romania (both 1,476), Lithuania (1,455), and Hungary (1,425).

The lowest death rate across the 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 stood on average at 1,002 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants across the EU in 2016.

In 2016, 5.1 million people died in the EU, about 80,000 fewer than in the previous year. A third of these deaths occurred among people aged below 75 (1.7 mln, 33%), while 1.5 mln people died between the ages of 75 and 85 (29%) in 2016. Some 1.9 mln deaths concerned people aged 85 and over (38%).

In Hungary, the population declined by 41,300, or by 3%, in 2018 as a net result of 89,800 live births and 131,100 deaths during the year. The population has continued to fall in 2019, despite the government having announced in February a radical package of tax breaks and cheap loans for women committed to having children, in an effort to reverse Hungaryʼs persistent population decline.

Leading causes of death

Slightly over 1.8 mln people died from diseases of the circulatory system, while 1.3 mln died from cancer in Europe in 2016. These two causes were responsible for 36% and 26% of all deaths, respectively. Diseases of the circulatory system were the main cause of death in all member states, except in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, where cancer took first place.

Diseases of the respiratory system were the third main cause of death in the EU, killing 422,000 people in 2016 (8% of all deaths).

A significant share of deaths in the EU was also due to accidents and other external causes of deaths (237,000 deaths, 5% of all deaths in the EU), diseases of the digestive system (222,000 deaths, 4%), mental and behavioral diseases such as dementia (220,000 deaths, 4%), and diseases of the nervous system including Alzheimer’s (219,000 deaths, 4%).