Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Mortality and global health estimates

Causes of death: Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive lung disease and lower respiratory infections have remained the top killers during the past decade. Chronic diseases cause increasing numbers of deaths worldwide. Diabetes caused 1.5 million (2.7%) deaths in 2012, up from 1.0 million (2.0%) deaths in 2000. Lung cancers (along with trachea and bronchus cancers) went up to become the 5th leading cause of death in 2012, killing 1.1 million men and 0.5 million women in 2012. Injuries continue to kill 5 million people each year. Road traffic injuries claimed about 3400 lives each day in 2012, about three-quarters of whom were men and boys.

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Life expectancy

70 yearsis the average life expectancy at birth of the global population in 2012

Life expectancy at birth


74%of child deaths occur in Africa and South-East Asia

Under-five mortality

Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)

13%of DALYs in high-income countries in 2012 were caused by mental disorders

DALY rates, by WHO region
  • Child mortality
    Estimated levels and trends of infant, under-five and neonatal mortality
A woman, diagnosed with cancer, talks with a friend
  • Causes of death
    Estimated cause-specific mortality by region, country, age and sex
  • Burden of disease
    Estimated cause-specific disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), by region, country, age and sex


WHO Mortality Database

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