Québec, May 12, 2015 – The preliminary number of deaths in Québec in 2014 is estimated at 63,000, up 2,200 from 2013. This increase is higher than the annual average of about 600 observed in the previous ten years.
Combined with a normal increase due to aging, last winter’s particularly severe flu season caused a high number of deaths in December and inflated the overall figure for 2014, which was otherwise consistent with recent trends. The preliminary data suggest an even larger spike in deaths in January 2015. The same phenomenon was observed in the winter 2012-2013, but to a lesser extent.
This significant rise in the number of deaths did not affect life expectancy at birth, which remained at the same level as in 2013, i.e. 80.2 years for men and 84.1 years for women. The average lifespan of Quebecers is still one of the longest in the world. Over the past twenty years, men have gained nearly 4 months in life expectancy on average per year, while women have gained slightly over 2 months per year. Since the life expectancy of men has increased faster, the longevity gap in favour of women narrowed from about 8 years at the end of the 1970s to slightly less than 4 years in 2014.
The gains in life expectancy made in the past decade were mostly due to a decrease in mortality among the elderly. This led to sustained growth in life expectancy at age 65, especially among men. In 2014, it was 19.1 years for men and 22.2 years for women.
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