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Demography – deaths and causes of deaths in the SR in the 1st quarter of 2023
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Demography – deaths and causes of deaths in the SR in the 1st quarter of 2023

Last update: 25.04.2023
Ilustračný obrázok/Illustrative image
Publisher: Statistical Office of the SR
Topic: Demographic and social statistics
Domain: Population and migration
Publish Date: 25.04.2023

Mortality in Slovakia in the 1st quarter decreased by 17% year-on-year and it was lower than in the pre-pandemic period

Mortality decreased the most significantly compared to the pre-pandemic period in the productive age group. From a regional perspective, it was in Nitriansky and Žilinský kraj. The only group of the population, in which the number of deaths still exceeded the pre-pandemic values, were younger seniors under the age of 75.

In the first quarter of 2023, the total mortality rate in Slovakia reached the long-term pre-pandemic average after two years. In total, 14 000 people died in the SR in the first three months of this year, which is by 16.7% fewer people (by 2.8 thousand) year-on-year. At the same time, there were by 6.4% fewer deaths than the five-year average of 2015-2019 before the onset of the pandemic1). This follows from preliminary data on the number of deaths and the causes of death for the first three months of 2023, which are currently published by the Statistical Office of the SR.

The fading of the COVID-19 pandemic was also reflected in lower gross mortality rate in the first quarter of this year. The number of deaths per 100 000 inhabitants2) dropped to 1 032 deaths. In the first quarter of last year, it represented a value of 1 238 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, and on average for the corresponding period of the last 5 years before the pandemic, it was at the level of 1 099 deaths.

The highest mortality rate was in Banskobystrický kraj

The number of deaths in the first three months of this year decreased year-on-year at a double-digit rate in all regions of Slovakia. At the same time, in all eight regions, the number of deaths was lower even compared to the pre-pandemic average1). The situation improved most significantly in Trenčiansky and Žilinský kraj, year-on-year. In Žilinský (9.4%) and in Nitriansky kraj (9.3%) mortality rate decreased the most compared to the corresponding period not marked by the pandemic.

After taking into account the size of the regions in terms of population, the gross mortality rate was the lowest in Bratislavský, Prešovský and Žilinský kraj with less than 1 000 deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants. The worst situation within the SR was in Banskobystrický kraj, where the mortality rate in the 1st quarter represented a value of up to 1 215 deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants.

Significantly fewer people died in the productive age group

The largest group of the dead were the seniors aged 65 and over, they represented almost 80% of the total deaths. Their number was moderate, less than 1% lower than the five-year pre-pandemic average and by 16% lower than last year. While older seniors over 75 recorded a similar trend like the entire senior population, the group of younger seniors (from 65 to 74) still had an excess mortality. In this age group, the number of deaths still exceeded the pre-pandemic average by 7%.1)

"The significantly worst mortality parameters were manifested in the category of younger seniors during the entire period of the pandemic. The number of younger seniors who died in the months of peak mortality exceeded the average values by more than two times," said Zuzana Podmanická, Director of the Population Statistics Department of the Statistical Office of the SR.

The current mortality rate in the productive age group (15 to 64 years) has decreased even more significantly. Year-on-year, the number of deaths decreased by a fifth and even by 24% compared to the five-year average. In this age category, 2.8 thousand people died in the first three months of this year.

COVID-19 was the eighth leading cause of death

In the first three months of the year, 230 people died as a result of the COVID-19 infection, which is almost eight times less than in the corresponding period in 2022. This decrease most significantly affected the year-on-year, mortality rate was lower almost by 17%. Compared to the most critical period of the pandemic – the 1st quarter of 2021, when the highest number of people died from this cause, there were fewer by 41 times.

With a share of less than 2% of the total deaths, COVID-19 was ranked among the causes that only slightly affect mortality in the long term. It moved to the 8th place among 22 groups of diseases3). The highest proportion of those who died from the infection were people in the age group of older seniors (75 and over), they represented approximately more than half (56%) of the Covid deaths.

The long-term most frequent cause of death in the SR – diseases of the circulatory system, which represented 47% of deaths (6.6 thousand people) also contributed significantly to the lower mortality. Their number decreased by almost 8% year-on-year and by 9% compared to the pre-pandemic average.

A positive trend was also observed in the number of deaths from the second most common cause of death - tumors (23% share of the total deaths). Their number decreased by more than 9% during the first three months compared to the pre-pandemic average. In total, 3 205 people died of tumors in the first three months, of which up to three quarters were seniors over 65+. Deaths from tumors have decreased significantly, mainly in the working age group.

The third most common cause of death in the first three months of this year was diseases of the respiratory system, with almost 10% of the total deaths. This cause of death also significantly influenced the year-on-year decrease in mortality, they were up to a quarter less than last year. Compared to the average for the corresponding pre-pandemic period, their number increased by 4%.

The first five most common causes3) were completed by deaths from diseases of the digestive system (5% share of all deaths) and external causes of death (4%).

  • 1) due to an objective answer to the question to what extent the current mortality rate was worse than in the period before the pandemic, the Statistical Office of the SR adjusted the selection of years from which the average number of deaths before the pandemic was calculated. The values for 2015-2019 were calculated into the 5-year average, which were the last years unaffected by the pandemic. The year 2020 was already influenced by the pandemic especially in the last months of the year, the year 2021 in the first and last months of the year and the year 2022 mostly in the first months of the year
  • 2) for the purposes of calculating the gross mortality rate, the average number of inhabitants (as of July 1) is used
  • 3) causes of death are classified according to 22 categories of diseases of the International Classification of Diseases (ICC).

Data source: DATAcube. database

Data on mortality and causes of death can be found at in the DATAcube. database of the Statistical Office of the SR.:

  • Deaths by Month of Death, Age, Sex and Causes of Death - SR-Area-Reg (monthly) [om3801mr].
    The datacube includes the numbers of deaths and causes of death in the SR according to 22 groups of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) by months (including COVID-19). It also contains regional structures (regions, SR), age structures (pre-productive, productive and post-productive age, as well as age groups after 5 years). Monthly data for 2022 are preliminary, data for previous years are definitive.
  • Issued by :

  • Statistical Office of the SR
  • Lamačská cesta 3/C
  • 840 05 Bratislava 45
  • Slovak Republic
  • Information Services :

  • tel. +421 2 50 236 339
  • +421 2 50 236 335
  • e-mail:

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