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Demography – deaths and causes of deaths in the SR in December 2021
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Demography – deaths and causes of deaths in the SR in December 2021

Last update: 26.01.2022
Ilustračný obrázok
Publisher: Headquarters Bratislava
Topic: Demographic and social statistics
Domain: Population and migration
Publish Date: 26.01.2022

In Slovakia, 7.5 thousand people died in December, it was by 43 % more than in previous years

COVID-19 was the second most important cause of death in the SR, one out of five people died. The slight excess mortality was higher than in the whole of Slovakia only in six of the eight regions of the SR. The worst situation was in Trenčiansky and Košický kraj, both of which died more people, almost twice as in previous years, in December 2021.

In the last month of last year, 7.5 thousand people died in Slovakia, it was by 43 % more than the average for the previous five years (2016 to 2020)1). The number of deaths in December was about the same as in November 2021, and at the same time it was a little more than in December 2020, when the second wave of the pandemic began to peak. A higher number of deaths in one month was recorded at the beginning of 2021.

"The mortality rate started to increase again in October 2021, the numbers of December were approximately at the level of November, almost twice as many people died in the SR as on average in the same month in the years before the pandemic," explains Zuzana Podmanická, Director of the Population Statistics Department.

The Statistical Office of the SR has currently published preliminary data on the number of deaths in December 2021, the data for the full year 2021 will be further specified. At the same time, the Office also revised the data for previous months of this year. "We are aware that the whole society expects annual data on the number of deaths in Slovakia and causes of death in 2021, now all data are strictly checked and adjusted and, as in other years, definitive data will be published in March 2022," said Zuzana Podmanická.

Attempting to offer the society objective information on changes in mortality in Slovakia, the SO SR compares current data with the average value of the same period in the previous five years (currently for 2016-2020) and evaluates the excess mortality in % compared to the previous five years. According to preliminary data, the number of deaths in Slovakia reached 73.1 thousand in 2021.

Differences in excess mortality in the regions have narrowed

In December 2021, the differences in the level of mortality between the regions of the SR mitigated. Excess mortality, i.e. an increased number of deaths compared to the five-year average, manifested itself in December for the fourth consecutive month in all eight regions. In six of them it was higher than the average for the whole of Slovakia. The increase in the number of deaths ranged between 19 % and 56 %. The worst situation was in Trenčiansky kraj and Košický kraj, in both of them half as many people died than in previous years. The situation was the most favourable at the end of 2021 in Nitriansky kraj (excess mortality of 19 %), followed by Bratislavský kraj (excess mortality of 31 %).

Compared to last November's values, the situation improved the most in December in Prešovský kraj. The mortality rate halved month-on-month and reached approximately 46 % in the last month of 2021. Even in November, the number of deaths in this region exceeded the average of previous years1) by almost 100 %. On the contrary, the most significant deterioration of the situation was in Trnavský kraj, where the number of deaths in December exceeded the average1) by 48 %, in November it was less than 30 %.

According to preliminary data, the higher number of deaths in December was most significant among older people aged 65 to 74, when 63 % more people died compared to the five-year average1). The situation also worsened for the working age population (15-64 years), the excess mortality in this age group was higher by 38 %.

COVID-19 was the second most common cause

1 584 people died in COVID-19 in December, representing more than 21 % of the total deaths. COVID-19 infection was thus the second most common cause of the total deaths2) in the SR. "The third wave of the pandemic was strong also in the last month of last year, when almost 1 600 people suffered from COVID-19, which was by a hundred more victims than in November 2021. However, the number of victims was a quarter lower than in December 2020," explains Zuzana Podmanická.

More than three-quarters of its victims were seniors over the age of 65, but they died a third less than in December 2020. However, the situation was worse year-on-year for people of working age (15-64), by 13 % more than one year ago.

At the regional level, the coronavirus had the highest share of causes of death in Trenčiansky kraj (30 % of deaths) and the lowest in Nitriansky kraj (16 % of deaths).

In the last month of 2021, the most common causes of death2) were diseases of the circulatory system, representing 36 % of deaths (more than 2 700 people). Slightly more people also died of cardiovascular and similar diseases in December than in the previous five years, which has long been the most common cause of death in the SR.

The third most common causes of2) deaths in the SR were respiratory diseases, in which 1.1 thousand people died and accounted for 15 % of the total number of deaths. December 2021 also confirmed high increases in these deaths compared to the previous five years - up to three times more people died than the average died in the corresponding month of the previous five years.

In fourth place were tumors (15 % of all deaths), which except September and October, have killed fewer people since the beginning of 2021 than the five-year average.


The final results on the number of people who died of a specific disease (the main cause of death) are published by the Statistical Office of the SR after the end of the reference year in March 2022.

  • 1) average of data for December 2016 - 2020
  • 2) Causes of death are classified according to 22 disease groups of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
  • 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: info@statistics.sk

While publishing of the whole information report or its parts, please state the source of information, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic


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