Previous Release

Causes of Deaths in the Philippines (Preliminary): January to December 2020

Reference Number: 2021-264
Release Date: 05 July 2021

Explanatory Note

Data on causes of death presented in this press release were obtained from the timely and late registered deaths at the Office of the City/Municipal Registrars throughout the country and submitted to the Office of the Civil Registrar General through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Provincial Statistical Offices (PSOs) for encoding. Information presented includes deaths that occurred from January 2020 until December 2020 (cut-off date is as of 17 June 2021 on the processed death certificates). Figures presented herein are still preliminary and may differ in the final counts. Deaths of Filipinos abroad are not yet included in the data, only those who died in the country but whose usual residence is abroad.

Figures in this release, specifically for deaths due to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), may differ from the one released by the Department of Health (DOH).  Data from PSA are based on the descriptions written on the medical certificate portion of all death certificates received which were certified by the Local Health Officers, while data from the DOH were collected through a surveillance system. Furthermore, COVID-19 deaths in this release refer to both confirmed and probable cases as of registration, whereas figures released by DOH were deaths from confirmed cases only. Coding of causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems revision 10 (ICD-10), which is governed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In response to the emergence of COVID-19, the WHO issued two new emergency codes to be used when coding causes of death for statistical purposes.  Code U07.1 refers to COVID-19-virus identified, which is used when COVID-19 is confirmed by a laboratory test, while code U07.2 refers to COVID-19-virus not identified, used for suspected or probable cases as well as clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed COVID-19 cases where testing was not completed or inconclusive1.

1https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/COVID-19-coding-icd10.pdf

Ischaemic heart diseases, neoplasms, and cerebrovascular diseases are still the three leading causes of death in the Philippines

The top three causes of death in the country in 2020 were ischaemic heart diseases, neoplasms, and cerebrovascular diseases. Incidentally, these were also the leading causes of death in 2019. In 2020, deaths due to ischaemic heart diseases were the leading cause of death with 105.11 thousand cases or 17.1 percent of the total deaths in the country. This was an increase of about 7.8 percent from the 97.48 thousand deaths or 15.7 percent of the total deaths in 2019. On the other hand, neoplasms, commonly known as “cancer”, came in second with 66.18 thousand deaths (10.8% share).  This showed a decrease of -3.6 percent from the previous year’s 68.66 thousand cases (11.1 %). Cerebrovascular diseases were the third leading cause which accounted for 64.10 thousand deaths (10.5% share) of the total. Deaths due to diabetes mellitus (39.72 thousand or 6.5% share), which ranked fourth in 2020, had an annual increase of 14.9 percent. Meanwhile, deaths due to pneumonia, which recorded 34.25 thousand cases (5.6% share) in 2020, posted a -45.4 percent decrease from 62.72 thousand cases (10.1% share) in 2019, making it the fifth leading cause of death for the year. (Table 1 and  Figure 1)

Figure 1.  All Causes of Mortality (Top 20), Philippines:
January to December, 2019 & 2020(p)

Note: Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)
are not included in the analysis due to the unspecified nature of these causes.
(p) - Preliminary

 

Deaths due to most of the ten leading causes exceed their average in the last five years

Most of the ten leading causes of death already exceeded their averages in the last five years (2015-2019). Meanwhile, deaths due to pneumonia had the biggest decline, with -22.58 thousand less deaths in 2020 than its average in the past five years.  The top three causes of death in 2020 retained their respective ranks in terms of their averages in the last five years. (Table A)

Table A.  Average Number and Rank of Registered Deaths from
2015-2019, Number and Rank of Registered Deaths,
by Cause of Death, Philippines: 2020(p)
(as of 17 June 2021)

(p) - Preliminary

Deaths due to transport accidents and assault decrease from the previous year

Registered deaths attributed to transport accidents decreased by -32.0 percent, from 12.80 thousand (2.1% share) in 2019 to 8.70 thousand (1.4% share) in 2020, pushing its rank from 11th to 17th.  Similarly, deaths due to assault decreased by -23.3 percent in 2020 (from 8.83 thousand in 2019 to 6.78 thousand in 2020), moving down its rank from 16th to 19th. (Table 1 and Figure 1)

Intentional self-harm increases by more than half

Deaths due to intentional self-harm recorded a 57.3 percent increase from the previous year, making it the 25th leading cause of death in 2020, from rank 31 in 2019. From the 2.81 thousand registered deaths due to intentional self-harm in 2019, it spiked to 4.42 thousand deaths in 2020.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ranks among the leading causes of death

Registered deaths due to COVID-19 accounted for a total of 30.14 deaths or 4.9 percent of the total registered deaths in 2020. By classification, COVID-19 with virus not identified was the seventh leading cause of death in the country with 20.84 thousand cases or 3.4 percent of the total deaths in 2020. Meanwhile, registered deaths due to COVID-19 with virus identified accounted for 9.30 thousand or 1.5 percent of the total deaths in 2020, making it the top 14 cause of death during the year. (Table 1 and Figure 1)

Five regions report over one thousand COVID-19 deaths

Among the 17 regions, the National Capital Region (NCR) registered the highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 with 13.00 thousand or 43.1 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths. CALABARZON ranked second with 7.00 thousand deaths (23.2% share), while Central Luzon came in third with 2.69 thousand deaths (8.9% share).  Other regions that registered over a thousand COVID-19 deaths were Central Visayas and Western Visayas, with 2.36 thousand (7.8% share) and 1.14 thousand (3.8% share) deaths, respectively.  On the other hand, ARMM reported the least number of registered COVID-19 deaths with only 52 or 0.2 percent of the total. (Table 2 and Figure 2)

Figure 2.  Number of Registered Deaths Due to COVID-19 by Region of Usual Residence, Philippines: 2020(p)
(as of 17 June 2021)

(p) - Preliminary

Quezon City registers most COVID-19 deaths in NCR

In NCR, Quezon City reported the highest number of deaths due to COVID-19, with 2.64 thousand deaths or 20.3 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in the region.  This was followed by the City of Manila and City of Pasig with 1.96 thousand (15.1% share) and 1.47 thousand (11.3%) COVID-19 deaths, respectively. (Table 3 and Figure 3)

 

Figure 3. COVID-19 Deaths in NCR, Jan to Dec 2020(p)
(as of 17 June 2021)

(p) - Preliminary

 

DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
Undersecretary
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General

 

Attachments:
1. Table 1. Number of Registered Deaths, Percent Share, and Ranks by 50 Leading Cause of Death, Philippines: 2019-2020(P) (as of 17 June 2021)
2. Table 2.  Number of Registered Deaths Due to COVID-19 by Region of Usual Place of Residence: 2020(P) (Preliminary, as of 17 June 2021)
3. Table 3. Number of Registered Deaths Due to COVID-19 in NCR, by City/Municipality of Usual Residence: 2020(P) (Preliminary, as of 17 June 2021)
4. Table 4. Average Number of Registered Deaths from 2015-2019 and Number of Registered Deaths by Causes, Philippines: 2015-2020(P) (as of 17 June 2021)

 

Table 1.  Number of Registered Deaths, Percent Share, and Ranks
by 50 Leading Cause of Death, Philippines: 2019-2020(p)
(as of 17 June 2021)

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority (Data on deaths are those registered at the Office of the City/Municipal
             Registrars throughout the country and submitted to the Office of the Civil Registrar General;
             Certificate of Death- Municipal Form 103)
(p) - Preliminary

 

Table 2.  Number of Registered Deaths Due to COVID-19 by Region
of Usual Place of Residence: 2020(p)
(as of 17 June 2021)

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority (Data on deaths are those registered at the Office of the City/Municipal
             Registrars throughout the country and submitted to the Office of the Civil Registrar General;
             Certificate of Death- Municipal Form 103)
(p) - Preliminary

 

Table 3.  Number of Registered Deaths Due to COVID-19 in NCR,
by City/Municipality of Usual Residence: 2020(p)
(as of 17 June 2021)

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority (Data on deaths are those registered at the Office of the City/Municipal
             Registrars throughout the country and submitted to the Office of the Civil Registrar General;
             Certificate of Death- Municipal Form 103)
(p) - Preliminary

Vital Statistics by Year Published

Infographic

Contact Us

Technical Inquiries:

Vital Statistics Division
Civil Registration Service
+632 8461 0500 loc. 820