Press release: 12.453
Approximately 7% of all deaths in 2020 due
"The higher mortality in 2020 is undoubtedly
due to the Corona pandemic: In the previous year, 7 131 more people died
in Austria than in 2019; 6 477 of them from COVID
9% more deaths than in the previous year,
one in 14 deaths due to COVID
According to preliminary results, a total of 90 517 people died in 2020, 8.6% or 7 131 more than in the previous year (2019: 83 386 deceased), this amount is roughly equivalent to the number of deaths in an average month.
However, taking into account population growth and
changes in the age structure, a slight increase in deaths would have
been expected in 2020 even without the COVID
As expected, these additional deaths were caused by
Deaths due to COVID
Significant differences were also evident at the level
of the provinces: A particularly large number of deaths were attributable
While about 48% of all deaths occurred in a hospital,
the proportion of hospital deaths among COVID
Increase in deaths from kidney diseases, decrease in deaths from influenza
Comparing the causes of death in 2020 with those in 2019, there is a striking increase of around 24% in diseases of the kidney and urogenital system, from 1 848 deaths in 2019 to 2 294 deaths in 2020. The average for the last five years (2015 to 2019) is exceeded by as much as 29.2% in 2020.
The most significant decrease of
The numbers of deaths from most other causes of death,
on the other hand, showed an unremarkable trend, with only minor changes
compared with the previous year. There were slight increases, for example,
in leukaemia, Parkinson's disease and fatal accidents due to falls.
On the other hand, the number of suicides declined. In 2020, a total
of 1 068 suicides were registered, 45 or 4.0% fewer than a year earlier
(2019: 1 113 suicides). Compared to the average of the last five years,
the decrease in suicides was even more significant
Suicide mortality unremarkable throughout 2020, as is cardiovascular mortality
Looking at the cause-of-death-specific age-standardized
mortality rates for each calendar week, the two prominent COVID
Those who died from COVID
-19 suffered primarily
from hypertension, kidney disease, and diabetes
Among those who died of COVID
-19 as a frequent concomitant disease
in dementia and cancer
In addition to those who died from COVID
For more detailed information regarding Causes of Death please refer to our Website. Further information on deaths can be found on our website, where an interactive web application – the Atlas of Deaths – also graphically illustrates the development and regional distribution. Detailed results can be found in Statistics Austria's open data repository.
on methodology, definitions: This analysis takes into account
all deaths occurring in Austria in 2020 that were registered by the civil
registries. All data are preliminary data, including medical information
and its coding.
The legal basis for determining the cause of death is the "Personenstandsgesetz 2013" (PStG 2013: Federal Law No. 16/2013; § 28 para. 1). Accordingly, Statistics Austria has to receive and process information on the cause of death. Causes of death statistics are based on death certificates, with a structure according to the World Health Organisation. The death certificate is filled in by a medical examiner, pathologist or forensic pathologist. On the death certificate is indicated the causal chain of illnesses that ultimately led to death. From these, the disease that triggered the death process (the underlying cause) is selected and coded according to international guidelines (the International Classification of Causes of Diseases – ICD
Since only diagnoses and no laboratory results are indicated on the death certificate, data of the cause of death statistics were enriched with the results from the Epidemiological Reporting System (EMS) of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection. For the majority of cases, the medical information was consistent. Cases for which no information on laboratory evidence and disease or death caused by SARS-CoV
Not every confirmed COVID
Cause of death statistics is published by the place of residence of decedents, which may also result in differences to the EMS. Data there is published according to the place of the responsible regional administrative authority; yet, the authority's responsibility is based on the actual place of stay of the infected person; this characteristic can therefore change several times during case processing (for example, due to admission or transfer to a hospital).
The total number of deaths in a year depends on the size and age structure of the population. Mortality is usually described using age-standardised death rates. The standardised death rate indicates how many deaths would have occurred per 100 000 living persons due to the prevailing mortality conditions if the age structure of the population in the relevant reporting period (here at the beginning of the year, provisional figures in 2020) had corresponded to that of a standard population. This eliminates the disturbing influence of the respective age structure, i.e. this measure takes into account both the overall growing population and its continuous ageing, thus making different death conditions comparable over time. The standard population used is the standard population 2013 published by Eurostat, which is an "artificial population" with an estimated age structure for the European population used as a basis for calculating comparable age-standardised death rates.
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