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Big Picture Mortality in Canada Published: ()

Every year more than 250,000 Canadians die of various causes. Each death becomes part of a vital statistics mortality dataset. Death data in Canada is categorized using a classification system entitled International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision, commonly known as ICD-10. The ICD-10 classification system categorizes cause of death data into 22 groups referred to as chapters. Each chapter contains numerous sub-groups.

A series of letters and numbers designates each chapter as part of the classification scheme (see links below to the ICD-10 classification system). For example, if the primary cause of death is cancer of the body of the stomach, it would be recorded as a cancer death in Chapter 2, Neoplasms and receive a code of C16.2. The interactive diagram below shows the number and proportion of Canadians in 2015, by age group, that died from causes in each of the various chapters. Three chapters had no deaths and were excluded below.

It is important to note that every death captured in the data below has been attributed to one underlying cause - the immediate cause of death. However, in the majority of cases, several conditions or diseases are involved. For example, diabetes can contribute to a death attributed to heart attack, and depression can contribute to a death related to suicide. In the future, multiple-cause-of death data will allow us to explore the broader factors involved in mortality.


Number and Percentage of Deaths in Canada by Age Group, 2015

In the figure below for each age group, the stacked coloured bars represent disease chapters. To display a detailed description, hover over or tab to any specific disease chapter in the graph or the legend. Click or press return to isolate a disease chapter, click again to restore the complete graph. Use the switch button to toggle between number and percentage of deaths. The raw data can be downloaded in csv format by clicking on the download button.


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Description

For a detailed description, hover over, tab to, or long-press any of the graph elements above.

Source: Statistics Canada, Vital Statistics. CANSIM Tables 1020521-1020542.


Mortality by Sex

Source: Statistics Canada, Vital Statistics. CANSIM Tables 1020521-1020542. NEC-Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified

The following figure shows the number of deaths in 2015 by ICD-10 chapter and sex. While most disease chapters show a similar number of deaths for men and women, there are exceptions.


Mortality by Year

The following figure shows the number of deaths by ICD-10 chapter and year, from 2000 to 2015. Over that time period, the number of deaths per year increased for external causes, cancer, mental and behavioural disorders, and diseases of the nervous, respiratory and digestive systems. Except in 2015, deaths due to infectious diseases increased as well. Of note, circulatory disease deaths had been decreasing for a number of years, with slight increases from 2012 to 2015 compared to 2011. Population growth and aging contribute to the increase in the number of deaths.

Source: Statistics Canada, Vital Statistics. CANSIM Tables 1020521-1020542. NEC-Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified

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