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4. Number of deaths from alcohol on level with the year before

In 2020, some 1,700 persons died of alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisonings, 1,300 men and 400 women. This was nearly the same as in the year before. Altogether three per cent of all deaths were due to alcohol-related causes.

Diseases related to long-term alcohol use, such as liver and heart diseases, cause a majority of deaths from alcohol-related causes. Changes in alcohol-related mortality have usually followed the development in total consumption of alcoholic beverages (Figure 7).

In 2020, over 60 per cent of deaths from alcohol-related causes stemmed from liver diseases caused by alcohol. The number of deaths caused by them increased from the year before. By contrast, the number of alcohol poisonings decreased from the year before. Alcohol poisonings accounted for 11 per cent of all alcohol-related deaths.

Figure 7. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol–related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol and total consumption of alcohol in 1971 to 2020

Figure 7. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol–related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol and total consumption of alcohol in 1971 to 2020

Men’s mortality from alcohol-related causes is manifold compared to women (Figure 8). Men’s mortality has also followed the changes in total consumption of alcohol more closely than women's mortality. In 2020, men's age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related causes increased by 1.5 per cent and women's, correspondingly, decreased by 4.3 per cent compared to 2019. In 2017 to 2020, age-standardised mortality caused by alcohol use increased by over 10 per cent for men and fell by one per cent for women.

In 2020, the average age of men dying of alcohol-related causes was 62 years and that of women 63 years. The tendency over the past ten years has been that the share of those aged 65 or over among deaths has increased considerably. However, the share of working-age men (aged 15 to 64) among those dying of alcohol-related causes grew clearly from the year before (from 57 to 63 per cent) in 2020.

Figure 8. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol in 1971 to 2020

Figure 8. Age-standardised mortality from alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisonings by alcohol in 1971 to 2020

Source: Causes of death, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Airi Pajunen 029 551 3605, Kati Taskinen 029 551 3648, Jari Hellanto 029 551 3291, kuolemansyyt@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 10.12.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Causes of death [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-5078. 2020, 4. Number of deaths from alcohol on level with the year before . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.7.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2020/ksyyt_2020_2021-12-10_kat_004_en.html