Causes of death distribution in Belgium 2016

In 2016, most deaths in Belgium were due to natural causes. In fact, only 6 percent of deaths were due to unnatural causes. Over the 108 thousand deaths reported in the country in 2016, the predominance of natural causes also translates into numbers. Indeed, Belgium registered over 101 thousand natural casualties and 6.7 thousand unnatural deaths. A death by natural causes is due to an illness or an internal malfunction of the body. These casualties cover causes such as infections or heart attacks. Whereas unnatural causes are caused by external forces, such as homicides, suicides, and accidents.

Natural causes

Although many natural causes can occur, two causes are linked to more casualties than others: neoplasms and cardiovascular diseases. On one hand, neoplasms were linked to 26 percent of natural deaths. A neoplasm is a new and abnormal growth of tissue in a part of the body, characteristic of cancer. On the other hand, cardiovascular diseases were responsible for nearly 28 percent of deaths in Belgium. These diseases generally involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Unnatural causes

In 2016, unnatural causes were linked to 6.2 percent of death in Belgium. These causes include both unintentional and intentional injuries. On the unintentional side, for instance, Belgium registered 670 road traffic fatalities in 2016. On the other hand, intentional injuries cover cases of suicide and homicide. In Belgium, nearly 2 thousand suicide casualties were registered in 2016. In addition, one thousand cases of murder were registered by the Belgian Federal Police.

Distribution of causes of death in Belgium in 2016

Distribution of deaths
Natural causes 93.8%
Cardiovascular diseases 27.7%
Neoplasms 26.4%
Respiratory system disorders 10.4%
Other natural causes 7.9%
Unnatural causes6.2%
Nervous system disorders 5.1%
Psychological disorders 4.9%
Digestive system disorders 4.5%
Urogential disorders 2.7%
Endocrine diseases and metabolism disorders 2.4%
Infections and parasitic diseases 1.9%
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Release date

January 2019



Survey time period


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