Prague, Czech Republic – The number of deaths in the Czech Republic increased by 15% year-on-year in 2020, according to the latest mortality figures released by the Czech statistical office.
This is the highest annual increase since 1945, according to an analysis by the Czech News Agency (CTK), when mortality rose by approximately 14.5%. The country reported nearly 185,000 deaths during the last year of World War II, compared to 161,000 in 1944.
According to preliminary data, 129,100 people died in 2020, nearly 17,000 more than in 2019. If the mortality rate had remained the same in the Czech Republic, the number of deaths would only have increased by 2,000 due to the ageing of the population.
Increased mortality affected primarily people aged between 75 and 84, and men more than women. The regions of Zlin, Karlovy Vary and Olomouc showed the steepest annual increases in the number of deaths, while Prague and Pilsen were the least affected.
According to the statistical office, the number of deaths remained approximately on par with previous years until September, before experiencing a sharp increase at the end of the year as the Czech Republic became one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by the second wave.
November (15,700 deaths), October (14,200) and December (14,000) were the deadliest months of the year.
The Ministry of Health estimates that slightly less than 12,000 people died from COVID-19 last year, with the last three months of the year also having the highest number of deaths caused by coronavirus complications.
CZSO analyst Terezie Styglerova pointed out that life expectancy at birth in 2020 declined for both men and women, and roughly corresponds to the situation in 2013, marking “a return seven years back”.