- To see how the COVID death rate in Canada compares to this data keep reading below.
Every year, Statistics Canada records the number of deaths across Canada — and the major diseases that Canadians are dying from. We combed through this data to find the leading causes of death, as well as which conditions were different among men and women.
The 10 leading causes of death in Canada
To get these numbers, we looked at the latest Statistics Canada latest mortality data (2019). Interestingly, we learned that the ranking of most of the top 10 leading causes of death didn’t change between 2018 and 2019, except accidental deaths surpassed cerebrovascular diseases to reach the number 3 spot. Also, unlike in 2018, more people died from diabetes then from the flu or pneumonia. Generally speaking, however, the data shows that Canadians are falling victim to the same diseases and health conditions year-after-year.
How do leading causes of death in Canada compare for men and women?
For both men and women, the top 2 leading causes of death were cancer and heart disease.
However, men had a relatively higher incidence of accidents and suicide, while more women died from cerebrovascular diseases and chronic lower respiratory diseases. These differences aside, the list of common deaths was made up of the usual suspects, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and pneumonia.
Take a look at the graphs and tables below to get a more detailed picture on the 10 leading causes of death in Canada.
|Rank||Cause of death||Total number of deaths|
|5||Chronic lower respiratory diseases||12,823|
|7||Flu and pneumonia||6,893|
What are chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRDs)?
CLRDs are conditions that affect the lungs, such as:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Occupational lung diseases
While these diseases are typically associated with smoking, non-smokers can also contract them.
The top 10 causes of death for men
These were the leading causes of death among Canadian men. Interestingly, instances of all top 10 causes of death for men increased in 2019 compared to 2018, with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases and flu and pneumonia which all decreased.
|Rank||Cause of death||Number of deaths|
|4||Chronic lower respiratory diseases||6,342|
|7||Flu and pneumonia||3,265|
|9||Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis||2,365|
The top 10 causes of death for women
As for Canadian women, the incidence of accidents were higher in 2019 as opposed to 2018. All other top 10 causes of death were less in 2019.
|Rank||Cause of death||Number of deaths|
|4||Chronic lower respiratory diseases||6,481|
|7||Flu and pneumonia||3,628|
|10||Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis||1,297|
Compare leading causes of death with the COVID death rate in Canada
Although Statistics Canada has not yet released its official report on the top leading causes of death in Canada in 2020, we can still use data from previous years to get an idea about how the 2020 COVID death rate compares to the norm from 2019.
In 2020 alone, 15,606 people died from COVID-19 in Canada. When compared to death rates reported for 2019, that would make COVID-19 the third leading cause of death in Canada – surpassed only by heart disease and cancer.
|Rank||Cause of death||Total number of deaths|
|3||COVID-19 (in 2020)||15,606|
|6||Chronic lower respiratory diseases||12,823|
|8||Flu and pneumonia||6,893|
It’s important to remember that without a comprehensive report on the leading causes of death in Canada for 2020, it’s impossible to get a completely accurate picture of the data. Statistics Canada has already found that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted other death rates as well — for example, increasing death rates due to substance abuse and delayed medical procedures, while possibly decreasing the death rate of normal flus. Because of that, the information in this section is meant to give you a vague comparison only until more up-to-date data is released.
Make your will online today
What’s the average age of death in Canada?
With all this talk of death, it’s important to keep in mind that the average age of death in Canada is still relatively high. The average life expectancy is 79.9 years for men and 84.1 years for women. While there are many factors that can impact your life expectancy, like your environment and family history, the majority of Canadians live long lives.
How we collected this data
To learn about the leading causes of death among Canadians, we turned to the Statistics Canada mortality data. Statistics Canada analyzes deaths and diseases each year, with the most recent data focused on 2019. We’ll update this page as new data is released.
Our top picks for life insurance
While no one can predict the future, life insurance can be a good way to help your loved ones even if the worst should happen. If you’re thinking about getting life insurance, compare quality providers below.
How do life insurance companies assess your life expectancy?
The general rule is that the healthier you are, the less you’ll have to pay for life insurance. Each insurance provider has its own underwriting process. As such, some put more weight on certain evaluation factors over others. Take a look at a few points that will be assessed:
- Age. How old you are plays possibly the biggest role in determining your premiums. The younger you are, the lower your premiums will typically be.
- Gender. Women typically end up with lower premiums than men, mostly due to women having a higher average life expectancy.
- Certain health indicators. When a medical exam or medical questions are involved, your weight, height, blood pressure and any history of major diseases or medical conditions help determine your premiums.
- Family health history. Major health conditions and diseases in your immediate family are likely taken into account. Cancer, cardiac arrest, kidney disease and stroke are among what may affect your premiums.
- Smoking. General frequency, and the last time you smoked before your medical exam, will likely be considered when determining how much you’ll pay in premiums.
- Substance use. Alcohol or drug use that has resulted in doctor-mandated rehabilitation and illegal substance abuse are likely to increase your premiums. Life insurance companies generally believe that if you avoid or moderate these substances, you’ll be prevented from getting their associated diseases.
- High-risk occupations and hobbies. Certain occupations and hobbies are considered riskier than others. Being a lumberjack is objectively more dangerous than working in accounting. Likewise, a skydiving hobby will earn your application more scrutiny than needlepoint.
- Driving and criminal records. Several tickets within a short period of time, DUIs and arrests can contribute to what your policy costs.
Understanding the leading causes of death is just one of many factors life insurance companies will take into account when determining your rates. A good life insurance policy can protect your family financially if you pass away prematurely, and give you the peace of mind in knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of when you’re gone. To get great coverage at a premium you can afford, compare life insurance companies.
More guides on Finder
Where to buy ethical underwear online in Canada 2022
Grab a discount code and cut costs on ethical underwear online at any of these leading stores.
How to get life insurance with skin cancer
Your eligibility and rates will depend on the type of cancer you had and your current health. Compare providers and learn what to expect.
Bank of Canada interest rate forecast report January 2021
One-third (31%) of economists predict that the rate will hold until 2024, according to Finder’s January 2021 Bank of Canada Report.
Bank of Canada interest rate forecast report December 2020
Economists forecast a rate hold on December 9 with 68% of economists predicting the rate will hold until at least 2023.
Compare car insurance in Nova Scotia
Find out more about how you can get affordable car insurance in Nova Scotia and compare providers to lock in the best deal today.
How car depreciation affects your car’s value
Cars lose value as soon as they’re driven off the lot. Find out how much your car could be worth and how to save money on your next car.
Delivery driver insurance
Whether you’re catering events or conveying Friday night pizza, find out what car insurance coverage you need as a delivery driver.
Bank of Canada interest rate forecast July 2020
Read Finder’s BoC Interest Rate Forecast Report for July 2020 with forecasts from some of Canada’s brightest minds in economics and property.
What is contract for difference (CFD) trading?
Yes, they’re legal here in Canada. Heard about CFDs but not sure how they work? Read our guide to find out what you need to know.
Where to bulk buy cloth masks online in Canada
Find out where to bulk buy cloth face masks online, and see which retailers offer free shipping deals.
Ask an Expert
You must be logged in to post a comment.