6 out of 10 people who die in Belize each year are males

By Adele Ramos

Freelance Reporter

Over the past decade, there has been a widening gap between the number of males who die in Belize and the number of females. A review of data sourced from the Ministry of Health revealed that since 2008, males have been making up a growing percentage of the deaths recorded in Belize – and homicides are not the only thing that account for the substantial gap.

Today, at least 6 out of every 10 persons who die in Belize are males. In 2016, there were 678 female deaths and 1,122 male deaths – a difference of 444. In 2008, there were 560 females and 754 males – a difference of 194.(The 2017 data is still pending.)
Total deaths in Belize by sex 2008 to 2016
Also noteworthy, is thatthe number of deaths in females increased by 20% for the period 2008 and 2016, the number of deaths in males increased by a whopping 50%.

The leading causes of death include heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Homicides ranked 5th among the leading causes of death for Belize over the said period. Notably, the vast majority of homicide victims are males.

Apart from being the primary victims of homicides, though, males are far more likely to die from road traffic accidents, suicides and HIV/AIDS. In fact, the data indicates that 4 out of every 5 persons who die in road traffic accidents are males and likewise, 4 out of every 5 persons who die by suicide are males.

Generally speaking, a woman in Belize can expect to live longer than a man. The life expectancy for males is 68 and for females is 73 (based on 2015 data published by the World Health Organization).

Interestingly, population growth in Belize slowed down for the period under study.

It is clear that strategies and policies need to be advanced to tackle the rising death toll in Belizean males.

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