Causes of death

  • More than half of deaths due to cancer and cardiovascular diseases

    In 2016, 30,448 men and 30,465 women died in the Flemish Region.  

    The two most important groups of causes of death were cancer (or other neoplasm) (29%) and diseases of the cardiovascular system (28%). More than half of all deaths in 2016 could therefore be attributed to these 2 groups of causes of death.  


    In the 2000-2013 period, the percentage of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases decreased. Since 2000, the percentage of deaths due to cancer has fluctuated between 27% and 30%. Since 2013, cancer has become the main cause of death in the Flemish Region.  

  • More cancer deaths in men than in women

    In 2016, cancer caused most fatalities among men (31%). Deaths due to cardiovascular diseases came second with 26%.  

    In 2016, cardiovascular diseases were the main cause of mortality among women (31%). Death due to cancer followed at some distance (24%). 

    Mortality caused by respiratory diseases came in third place (10%) in both men and women.  

  • Cancer mortality gradually increases with age

    In 2016, mortality caused by cancer showed a gradual increase with age. Mortality due to cardiovascular diseases increased rapidly in later life.  

    In 2016, the risk of dying from cancer for those over 65 was nearly twice as high for men as for women.   

    The risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease was greater in men than in women at each age.  

  • Higher mortality in Flemish Region due to cancer and cardiovascular diseases than in other regions

    In 2016, there were, relatively speaking, slightly more deaths due to cardiovascular disease in the Flemish Region than in the other 2 regions. This also applied to deaths due to cancer.  


Statbel: Causes of death 

Publication date

28 February 2019

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