Last year, COVID-19 killed 9,859 Australians, behind only heart disease and dementia (including Alzheimer’s) as the leading causes of death in the country.
Heart disease killed 18,643 Australians in 2022, and dementia killed 17,106.
"An infectious disease (influenza and pneumonia) was last in the top 5 leading causes of death in 1970," the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in the press release. "Deaths due to COVID-19 were a significant contributor to the increase, causing just under 10,000 deaths and mentioned as a contributing factor on a further 2,782 death certificates. The Omicron variant was the dominant strain during 2022, with multiple waves across the year associated with the variant."
The Omicron variant was the dominant strain during 2022, with multiple waves across the year associated with the variant.
The government said the rate of death from COVID-19 had increased to 27.1 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 24.5 in 2020.
An aging population contributed to the increased COVID-19 deaths, as the median age of citizens who died from COVID-19 in 2022 was 85.8 years.
COVID-19 was not the only respiratory virus to see a jump in deaths: 305 people died from influenza in 2022. This contrasts with 2 people in 2021, the lowest number of annual flu deaths on record.