Latvia's death rate fifth-highest in EU

In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, diseases of the circulatory system were the main cause of death in all EU countries, except in Denmark, Ireland, France and the Netherlands, where cancer was the main cause. These two groups of diseases, remained the leading causes of death and in total, 1.7 million people died of circulatory diseases and almost 1.2 million died from cancer, according to Eurostat data published March 7. 

Among the EU members, the highest share of deaths due to diseases of the circulatory system was observed in Bulgaria (61%) and the lowest in France (20%), while the highest share of deaths due to cancer was observed in Ireland (29%) and the lowest share in Bulgaria (15%).

Diseases of the circulatory system and cancers together represented 55% of the causes of death in the EU, ranging from 42% in Belgium and 76% in Bulgaria.

Causes of death in EU, 2020

In the year the pandemic broke out, COVID-19 was the third main cause of death in the EU, with a total of almost 439 000 deaths. The highest shares of death due to COVID-19 were registered in Belgium (18%) and Spain (15%), while the lowest were in Finland and Estonia (both 1%). 

When the absolute numbers of deaths across the countries are adjusted to the size and structure of the population, Bulgaria emerges with the highest death rate in the EU in 2020 (1 787 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants). It was followed by Romania (1 622), Hungary (1 513), Lithuania (1 482) and Latvia (1 445).

Standardised death rates, 2020

Latvia's death rate for circulatory disease was 783, for cancer it was 296 and for Covid-19 it was 34. In fact, despite having one of the world's highest infectio rates for a while,  

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest death rate across the EU countries was recorded in France (863 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants) and Ireland (892), ahead of Luxembourg (905), Finland (917) and Spain (919). 

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