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Explanatory Notes

Data on deaths presented in this release were obtained from the Certificates of Death (Municipal Form No. 103) that were registered at the Office of the City/Municipal Civil Registrars all throughout the country and forwarded to the Philippine Statistics Authority. This release shows an overview of the registered deaths which occurred from January to December 2020, including the 10 leading causes of death. Cumulative figures for 2020 reflect updated data which excludes fetal deaths present in the processing of regular deaths and may differ from preliminary counts previously published.  Fetal deaths as well as deaths of Filipinos that occurred abroad which were reported to the Philippine Foreign Service Posts are presented in a separate report.  Figures shown were not adjusted for under registration.

In 2020, a total of 613,936 deaths were registered in the Philippines, a decline of -1.0 percent from 620,414 in 2019. This is equivalent to a crude death rate  of 5.6, or about six deaths per 1,000 population in 2020. This corresponds to an average of 1,677 deaths per day, which translates to 70 deaths per hour or one (1.2) death per minute.

Figure 1

The number of registered deaths from 2011 to 2020 has trended upward except in the years 2017 and 2020. The increase during the ten-year period was 23.2 percent, from 498,486 in 2011 to 613,936 in 2020. (Figure 1 and Table 1)

Highest number of deaths reported in CALABARZON

The highest number of registered deaths by usual residence occurred in CALABARZON with 94,898 (15.5%), followed by National Capital Region (NCR) with 84,355 (13.7%), and Central Luzon with 71,756 (11.7%). The combined share of these three regions was 40.9 percent of the total registered deaths in 2020.

On the other hand, the three regions which had the least number of registered deaths were Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 4,626 (0.8%), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 8,540 (1.4%), and Caraga with 15,806 (2.6%). These regions accounted for only 4.7 percent of the overall registered deaths in the Philippines in the same year. (Figure 2 and Table 2)

Figure 2

August 2020 had the most number of deaths

In 2020, the average number of deaths registered per day was the highest in August at 1,833 or about 76 deaths per hour. The month of March had the lowest number of deaths registered per day at 1,484 or equivalent to 62 deaths per hour. (Figure 3 and Table 3)

Figure 3

Daily index refers to the increase/decrease from the overall daily average of event occurrences. The months of February to June fall below the national daily index of 100.0 in 2020. In other words, daily average deaths in these months were lower than the national daily average of 1,677 deaths. (Figure 3 and Table 3)

More male deaths than female deaths recorded

Figure 4 shows the age-sex structure of registered deaths in 2020. It shows an inverted pyramid, with fewer deaths at the younger ages, except for children under one, and progressively increasing as people grow older.  In the Philippines, the number of male deaths (351,426) was higher than female deaths (262,510) in 2020. The proportion of males who died was highest at the age of 65 to 69 years old (41,021 or 11.7% of male deaths) while for females, the largest was at the oldest age group, 85 years old and over (42,386 or 16.1% of female deaths). (Figure 4 and Table 4)

The sex ratio of 134 indicates that there were about 134 male deaths for every 100 female deaths. Moreover, sex ratio of over a hundred means that more male deaths were registered compared to their female counterparts at each age group before 80 years old. Further, higher proportions of female deaths were observed in the older age groups (80 years old and over) compared to its male counterparts. (Figure 4 and Table 4)

Figure 4

Six out of ten deaths were attended by health care provider

Attendant refers to a private physician, public health officer, hospital authority, or any other allied health care provider who provided medical attendance to the deceased.

Out of 613,936 registered deaths, 55.9 percent or 343,471 deaths were medically attended. Only two regions, namely: MIMAROPA Region (46.4%), and Eastern Visayas (52.5%) had more unattended than attended deaths. (Figure 5 and Table 5)

Figure 5

Over half of the total registered deaths occurred at home

In 2020, 346,347 or 56.4 percent of the total deaths occurred at home while 261,531 or 42.6 percent died in any health facilities. Some (0.9%) died in places other than home and health facilities, such as on the street, in public places, on board a vehicle, airplane or vessel while in transit, among others. However, 0.1 percent of deaths have undetermined or unspecified sites because of the missing information in the place of death or usual residence of the decedent.

Among the 17 regions, only NCR had more deaths that occurred in hospital facilities than any other site of occurrence at 60.3 percent. (Figure 6 and Table 6)

Highest number of infant deaths recorded in CALABARZON

Infant deaths are deaths that occurred before reaching age 1. At the national level, 16,885 infant deaths were registered in 2020. Six out of ten deaths were males (9,767 or 57.8%). The three regions with the highest number of infant deaths recorded were CALABARZON (3,000 or 17.8%), NCR (2,859 or 16.9%), and Central Luzon (1,996 or 11.8%).

On the other hand, ARMM (150 or 0.9%), CAR (210 or 1.2%) and Caraga (349 or 2.1%) had the least number of registered infant deaths. (Figure 7 and Table 7)

Figure 7

Highest number of maternal deaths recorded in CALABARZON

A maternal death is defined by the World Health Organization as, “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.’’  In 2020, a total of 1,975 women were identified as having died of maternal causes in the country.

Figure 8

Among all regions, CALABARZON recorded the highest number of maternal deaths with 344 (17.4% share), followed by NCR with 277 (14.0%), and Central Luzon and Central Visayas with 199 each or 10.1 percent share. On the other hand, CAR (23 or 1.2%) and ARMM (34 or 1.7%), recorded the least number of maternal deaths. (Figure 8 and Table 8)

Ischaemic heart diseases led causes of deaths

Deaths due to ischaemic heart diseases were the biggest contributors among the total deaths in 2020, making up some 17.1 percent (105,281) of the total registered deaths. This was followed by deaths due to neoplasms, also known as “cancer”, at some 10.8 percent (66,342). Cerebrovascular diseases (including stroke) were behind accounting for 10.5 percent (64,381) of the total deaths.  Mortality due to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), virus not identified, also ranked among the leading causes of deaths with 20,872 or 3.4 percent of the total registered deaths, making it the 7th leading cause of death. By sex, similar trend with some deviations in the ranking among the leading causes of deaths was observed. (Figure 9 and Table 9)

Figure 9


National Statistician and Civil Registrar General


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