In 2016, the number of deaths in the Netherlands grew by 1.3 percent to a total of 149 thousand: 72,180 men and 76,817 women. The ten most common causes of death as presented in these charts account for 47 percent of total mortality.
The leading cause of death with nearly 15.4 thousand cases - 7 percent up from 2015 - is again dementia. Dementia is the main cause of death among women with more than 10 thousand cases (+5 percent). Death due to dementia has seen a much larger increase among men, with a rise of 11 percent in 2016 relative to the previous year. With a death toll in excess of 5 thousand, dementia is the second most common cause of death in men after lung cancer.
The main reason for the difference between men and women with respect to dementia as cause of death is the gap in age distribution. As they age, more people die from dementia, and there are more women than men in the oldest age group.
Lung cancer mortality rate slightly higher
In 2016, nearly 10.7 thousand registered residents in the Netherlands died from lung cancer, up by slightly over 2 percent. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of death among men with nearly 6.3 thousand cases, followed by dementia and stroke. The gap between dementia and lung cancer is narrowing. Lung cancer (nearly 4.4 thousand cases) has now exceeded breast cancer (3.1 thousand cases) as a main cause of death among women.
Stroke second most common cause of death in women
Strokes killed nearly 9.5 thousand people in the Netherlands last year. Just as in 2015, stroke was the third largest cause of death, affecting more than 5.5 thousand women and nearly 4 thousand men in 2016. Stroke is the main cause of death among women after dementia. Last year, stroke as a death cause among the Dutch population dropped by 1 percent. The rate of decline was approximately the same for both genders.
Fewer women died from pneumonia
Relative to 2015, the number of women who died from pneumonia dropped by more than 11 percent in 2016. Fewer people died from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) (-6 percent), as against a 20 percent increase in 2015. The mortality rate from acute myocardial infarctions declined by 6 percent last year.
Sharp increase fatal falling accidents
Mortality from non-natural causes rose by 6.4 percent year-on-year in 2016, amounting to over 7.7 thousand deaths. The rise can mainly be attributed to an increase in fatal falling accidents: in total, 3.3 thousand fatalities (+16 percent). This number goes up to around 3.8 thousand if the unknown causes of injury are included; these are frequently related to falling. Due to the difference in age distribution, related mortality is around one and a half times higher among women than among men.