Deaths, 2009

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A total of 238,418 people died in Canada in 2009, down 0.1% from 2008. Of these, 120,311 were men and 118,107 were women.

In Canada, the age-standardized mortality rate declined from 531 deaths per 100,000 population in 2008 to 515 in 2009. The decline was larger for men (-3.5%) than for women (-2.9%).

British Columbia recorded the lowest age-standardized mortality rate in the country (480 deaths per 100,000 population). The highest rates were in Nunavut (1,165), Yukon (755) and the Northwest Territories (700).

The infant mortality rate continued a long-term downward trend, declining from 6.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1991 to 4.9 in 2009. During the same period, the male infant mortality rate decreased from 6.9 to 5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, while for females, it went down from 5.8 to 4.7.

Life expectancy at birth reached 81.1 years for the three-year period from 2007 to 2009, up 0.2 years from 2006 to 2008. Life expectancy at birth for men was 78.8 years in 2007-2009, while for women, it was 83.3.

Women are living longer, but men continue to catch up. The gender gap in life expectancy at birth narrowed in the past 15 years from 6.1 years in 1992-1994 to 4.5 years in 2007-2009.

Life expectancy at birth was highest in British Columbia (81.7 years), followed by Ontario and Quebec. It was lowest in the three territories combined at 75.1, which is 6.0 years below the national average.

Life expectancy for seniors has also been on an upward trend over the last 15 years. A senior in Canada at age 65 could expect to live an additional 20.2 years in 2007-2009, up 2.1 years from 1992-1994.

In 2007-2009, life expectancy at age 65 for both men and women was highest in British Columbia, followed by Ontario. Again, it was the lowest in the three territories combined.

Note to readers

Life expectancy is the average number of years of life remaining for a population at a specific age, assuming that the individuals comprising that population would experience the age-specific mortality rates observed in a given year, throughout their lives. It represents a key indicator of a population's health status and it is based on age-specific mortality rates calculated using three-year data. The age-specific death rate is the number of deaths in a particular age group during a given year for a population in the same age group as of July 1 of the same year. The age-standardized death rate removes the effects of differences in the age structure of populations among areas and over time. This rate is calculated using the 1991 population of Canada as standard population.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table102-0030, CANSIM table102-0501 to 102-0510, CANSIM table102-0512, CANSIM table102-0521 to 102-0538, CANSIM table102-0540, CANSIM table102-0542, CANSIM table102-0551, CANSIM table102-0552 and CANSIM table102-4307.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3233.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; or the Media Hotline (613-951-4636;