Czech population drops due to record number of deaths in first quarter of 2021

The number of deaths exceeded for 40,000 for only the second time in the history of the Czech Republic.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 14.06.2021 12:46:00 (updated on 14.06.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

In the first three months of this year, 46,437 people died in the Czech Republic. That is the most for any quarter since the establishment of the independent Czech Republic. This pushed the population back under the 10.7 million threshold it had crossed last June, according to data from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). At the end of March 2021, some 10,694,480 people lived in the country.

Compared to the first quater of 2020, the number of deaths was 54 percent higher. The quarterly death toll has exceeded 40,000 only twice in the history of the Czech Republic. In addition to the first quarter of this year, it also did so in the last three months of last year.

The statistics do not disclose the cause of death, but the Czech Republic was facing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Health Ministry data, over 30,000 people have died so far from Covid since the pandemic began last March. Most of these deaths occur in the last quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021.

The number of live births increased slightly year-on-year. But the number of deaths was 19,188 more than the number of live births. The balance of net migration remained in positive numbers, with 11,891 more people arriving than leaving. Overall, though, the population fell by 7,838 people compared to the first quarter of 2020.

“A total of 27,249 children were born alive in the first quarter of 2021. It was 500 more than in the same period of 2020, when the number of births was still slightly lower year-on-year in January and higher in February and especially in March,” Michaela Němečková from ČSÚ’s population statistics department said.

In the previous two years, the quarterly numbers of live births had regularly decreased year-on-year. This year’s increase was due to higher number of second-born children (10,500 live births), while the number of children born in the first (12,800) and the third or higher order (3,900) remained almost the same, according to the ČSÚ.

The share of live births outside marriage slightly increased year-on-year from 48.6 percent to 48.8 percent. The growth was driven by a higher share of the live births outside marriage among the firstborn children in the first quarter of this year (59.5 percent compared to 57.6 percent in the first quarter of 2020).

The number of deaths in the first quarter, at 46,437 from beginning of January to the end of March, was by 16,190 more than in the first three months of 2020.

The highest year-on-year increase was registered in March, up by 63 percent. That month also had the most deaths at some 16,700. The year-on-year increase in the number of deaths was higher in men, by 63 percent, than women, who were up by 44 percent. In terms of age, the highest increase were registered in population aged between 75 and 79, up by 76 percent and between 70 and 74 years, up by 73 percent. A total of 56 children died during their first year of life. It was 11 fewer than in the same period of the previous year, which corresponds with the infant mortality rate of 2.1 per mille.

During the first quarter, 2,700 couples entered into marriages, or 1,142 fewer than in the same period of 2020. While in January and February there were fewer marriages year-on-year, in March it was more. Most grooms were aged 30 to 34, while most brides were aged 25 to 29.

The number of divorces that came into force by the end of March 2021 was 4,951, which was 576 fewer in the year-on-year comparison. The majority of divorces, 54 percent, were initiated by a joint divorce petition by both husband and wife. In terms of duration of the marriage at divorce, the most marriages ended after two to five years.

According to the data from administrative, sources 19,106 people immigrated to the Czech Republic during the first quarter and 7,215 people moved abroad. As in previous years, the highest positive balance was recorded for citizens of Ukraine, at 6,400. The second-highest net migration was for citizens of Slovakia, at 800, the third for citizens of Russia, at 500.

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