Deaths grew in Spain by 17.9% in 2020 compared to the previous year. In total, 493,776 people died, 75,073 more than in 2019, and the largest increases occurred in April (81.9%) and March (59.3%), right at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and also in November ( 21%).
According to the death data published this Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the coronavirus was the most frequent cause of death in 2020, and the number of deaths from this cause -between those diagnosed and those suspected- practically coincides with the excess of deceased during that year.
In 2020, 60,358 people died with the diagnosed coronavirus and another 14,481 died with suspected Covid-19 due to symptoms compatible with the disease. In addition, doctors certified 8,275 deaths in which the cause of death was another, although Covid-19 contributed to death.
Deaths from coronavirus doubled deaths from ischemic heart disease, the second leading cause of death, with 29,654 deaths. Cerebrovascular diseases ranked third, with 25,817 deaths, 0.4% more than in 2019. However, by disease groups, infectious diseases -which include Covid-19- were the third cause of death with 16 .4% of the total, behind diseases of the circulatory system and tumors.
In total, 75,073 more people died in Spain than in the previous year. Of the 493,776 people who died, 249,664 were men (17.4% more than in 2019) and 244,112 women (18.5% more).
During the year 2020, 266,235 people died in hospital centers, 132,664 in their private homes and 73,216 in nursing homes, where deaths increased by 33.7% compared to the previous year.
By age, 87.3% of those who died due to a diagnosis of Covid-19 and 93.3% of those who were not diagnosed but suspected were 70 years of age or older. In fact, the risk of dying from this disease was less than 100 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants up to 65 years of age. From that age on, the rates increased progressively until reaching 3,638.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in the group aged 95 and over.
By autonomous communities, the highest rate of deaths from Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants was in Castilla y Leon (243.5), followed by Castilla-La Mancha (235.8) and the Community of Madrid (215.2). ). On the opposite side were the Canary Islands (18), the Balearic Islands (45.8) and the Region of Murcia (48.9).
The methodology followed by the INE in the statistics of deaths by cause of death is based on the detailed analysis of the medical death certificates filled out by the collegiate doctors at the time of the person’s death, as well as on the application of two international standards.
This study collects all the mortality of the year 2020, and comes to complete the partial data published so far and that corresponded to the first wave of the pandemic: until May, 45,684 deaths from coronavirus or suspected of having contracted the disease were recognized.

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