Select your language

Other official information and services:  belgium



This chapter presents an overview of general (all ages), premature (below 75 years old), and infant (below one year old) mortality in Belgium. All-cause and cause-specific mortality are analyzed for general and premature mortality.

General mortality

In 2022, 116,380 deaths were observed in Belgium. The age-adjusted mortality rate in 2022 was higher than in 2021, it decreased in men and increased in women compared to 2021. The age-adjusted mortality rate in 2022 was 1.4 times higher in men than in women. Geographical disparities were observed, with lower age-standardized mortality rates in the Flemish region for both men and women.

Causes of death 

In 2021, tumours and cardiovascular diseases remained the main causes of death. In 2020 and 2021, there was a decrease in mortality from respiratory, mental and neurological diseases. The main cause of death in 2021 remained COVID-19, except among women in the Flemish Region, where it was dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Premature mortality

In 2022, the age-adjusted premature mortality rate was 335 per 100,000 inhabitants in Belgium, a decrease compared to 2021. The decrease between 2010 and 2022 was more pronounced among men (-17%) than among women (-9%). Over time, the age-adjusted premature mortality rate is much higher in men than in women. Over time, large regional and district disparities in age-adjusted premature mortality rates are present in Belgium. Belgium scored poorly in terms of premature mortality rates among EU-15 countries in 2018.

Causes of premature mortality

In 2021, the causes of premature death (before age 75) responsible for the greatest number of years of life lost are lung cancer, COVID-19 and ischemic heart disease in men, and lung cancer, COVID-19 and breast cancer in women. For most causes, the premature mortality rates decreased between 2011 and 2021, except for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in women, which increased. The causes contributing most to the higher premature mortality rates in the Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions compared to the Flemish Region are COVID-19 and ischemic heart disease in men and COVID-19 in women.

Infant mortality

In 2021, the infant mortality rate was 2.9 per thousand live births. Infant mortality has sharply declined over the last decennia in Belgium. Rates and trends are similar in the Flemish Region and in the Walloon Region.