Fewer South Africans die

2014-03-18 12:29

The number of people dying in South Africa every year is decreasing, a new report has revealed.

The report, released by Stats SA in Pretoria today, shows that the mortality rate has been declining since 2007.

According to the latest figures, a total of 505 803 people died in 2011 compared to 547 724 deaths in 2010. This is a 7.7% decline.

The main causes of death between the two years remained consistent with the exception of cerebrovascular diseases, which are conditions that affect the blood vessels and cause problems with blood flow to the brain, like strokes. This cause moved from sixth to third place.

Tuberculosis remained the leading cause of death in 2010 and 2011. The infectious disease claimed 54 112 lives, which was 10.7% of all deaths. Other natural causes of death by numbers are:

» Influenza and pneumonia – 33 381 (6.6%)

» Cerebrovascular diseases – 25 732 (5.1%)

» Other forms of heart disease – 23 564 (4.7%)

» Diabetes mellitus – 20 171 (4.0%)

» Intestinal infectious diseases – 19 376 (3.8%)

» Human immunodeficiency virus – 17 012 (3.4%)

» Hypertensive diseases – 15 529 (3.1%)

» Other viral diseases – 14 557 (2.9%)

» Chronic lower respiratory diseases – 13 084 (2.6%)

Non-natural causes of death (including murder) are at 45 990 (9.1%).

The median age of death was 50, with more men (51.7%) than women (48.3%) dying in 2011.

About half of all deaths occurred in health facilities. Provinces with the highest proportion of deaths were KwaZulu-Natal (20.7%), Gauteng (19.9%) and the Eastern Cape (14.4%).

However, the authors of the report noted that these three provinces have the largest populations in the country.

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