Pretoria - Mortality is dropping in South Africa, Statistics SA (StatsSA) said on Tuesday.
A total of 505 803 deaths were registered in the country in 2011, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said.
Around 45 990 of those fatalities were due to unnatural causes.
Unnatural deaths included accidents, assaults, complications in medical and surgical operations, and suicides.
“The number of deaths between 2010 and 2011 decreased by 7.7 percent, while during 2009-2010 and 2008-2009, the number of deaths decreased by 5.6 percent and 2.6 percent respectively,” said Lehohla.
He was speaking in Pretoria at the release of the organisation's statistics for mortality and causes of death for 2011.
He said Tuberculosis (TB) proved to be the leading cause of death in both males and females.
The disease was responsible for 12 percent of deaths among males, and 10 percent in women.
Influenza and pneumonia were also high on the list of leading causes of death.
Youngsters from birth to 14 years old died mostly from intestinal infectious disease (14 percent), followed by influenza and pneumonia (10 percent), and respiratory and cardiovascular disorders (nine percent).
Seven percent of 15 to 49-year-olds died due to HIV. The same percentage died of influenza and pneumonia while 18 percent died of TB.
TB also proved to be the leading cause of death among 50 to 64-year-olds. Six percent died of TB and cerebrovascular diseases.
People aged 65 years and older died mostly of cerebrovascular diseases (18 percent), while eight percent died of other forms of heart diseases and seven percent died of diabetes.
The report also revealed that at 15 percent, the occurrence of non-natural causes of death was highest in the 15 to 49-year-old age groups.
Sixty-one percent of all non-natural deaths stemmed from accidental injuries, 11 percent from assault, 14 percent from undetermined intent, and three percent from medical and surgical complications, which included pregnancy and birth complications.
Eleven percent of non-natural deaths also occurred due to transport accidents, while one percent occurred due to suicide.