Pretoria - Although the mortality rate in South Africa declined in 2016, diseases of the circulatory system were the top ranking underlying main group of natural causes of death for the first time in 21 years, according to Statistics South Africa.
The number one cause of mortality in the country remains tuberculosis, albeit declining from 8,3% in 2014 to 6,5% in 2016, followed by diabetes at 5.5%. Of the total 2016 deaths, 405 370 (88,8%) were due to natural causes and 51 242 (11,2%) were attributed to non-natural causes.
The mortality and causes of death 2016 report released by Statistics SA on Tuesday shows that overall, mortality continues to decline in the country as observed since 2007.
In 2016, there were 456 612 deaths registered, 52,7% were male and 47,3% were female.
The sex ratio at death was 112 male deaths per 100 female deaths. The deaths due to non-natural causes were higher for males compared to females, with the proportions particularly high for males aged 20–24 years (66,1%).