Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Funeral bouquets in a hearse

What do people die of on an average day?

On an average day in the non-conventional year 2020, 55 people died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that appeared in the Netherlands in early 2020. More than twice as many people (129) died from cancer and 100 died from cardiovascular diseases. A total of 461 people died each day, 45 more than on an average day in 2019.

Death causes on a typical day in an atypical year12912910310059552425055 Respiratory diseasesCardiovascular diseasesCancer and other neoplasms COVID-19 3529Legend20192020

Few flu deaths in 2020

Mortality due to cancer was just as high as in 2019, while three people fewer died each day from cardiovascular diseases. Respiratory disease was the cause of death for 29 people each day, six less than a year earlier. Flu, which comes under this group of causes of death, was absent or rare in 2020. The consequences of a mental disorder or illness of the nervous system, including dementia, caused 55 deaths per day, four less than in 2019 and the same number as those who died from COVID-19 in 2020.

Fourteen people died each day from a fatal fall

Twenty-five people a day died from non-natural causes, such as accidents, suicide, murder and manslaughter, one more than in 2019. This group of causes of death has been increasing among elderly people in recent years, a fact that is entirely due to more elderly people dying from the consequences of an accidental fall (unintentional falling, tripping or slipping). On an average day in 2020, 14 people died as a result of a fatal fall. Suicides caused an average of five deaths per day and traffic accidents caused two deaths per day.

Causes of death of deceased persons (daily average)
2020* 2019
Cancer and other neoplasms 129 129
Cardiovascular disease 100 103
Mental disorder or
illness of the nervous system
55 59
COVID-19 55 0
Respiratory disease 29 35
Non-natural causes (accidents, suicide,
and murder and manslaugher)
25 24
Other causes of death (excl. COVID-19) 69 67
*provisional figures

The questions


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Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik


Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek


Ronald van der Bie

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma


Frans Dinnissen

Gaby de Vet

Taalcentrum VU

Final editor

Elma Wobma

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.