From the 5.2 million deaths reported in the European Union (EU) in 2015, 3 600 (0.07%) were due to assault. The majority of victims were men (64%).
The assault-related death rate is falling. In 2002, the first year for which data are available, the rate stood at 1.3 per 100 000 persons and has steadily decreased since then.
In the EU, in absolute terms, Germany (441 deaths) and Italy (395) recorded the most deaths from assault in 2015. They were followed by France (340), Romania (301) and Poland (293).
However, for a relevant country comparison, these absolute numbers need to be adjusted to the size and structure of the population.
Assault death rate highest in the Baltic States, lowest in the United Kingdom
With 5.1 assault-related deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, Latvia registered the highest rate among the EU Member States in 2015. Two other Baltic Member States, Lithuania (4.1 deaths due to assault per 100 000 inhabitants) and Estonia (3.6) also recorded a relatively high rate of death due to assaults.
At the opposite end of the scale, in 2015 the lowest rates of deaths due to assault were recorded in the United Kingdom (0.1), Ireland, France and Germany (all 0.5). At EU level, the assault death rate stood on average at 0.7 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants in 2015.
Death is due to assault if it results from homicide or injuries inflicted by another person with intent to injure or kill. Deaths related to legal interventions and war are excluded.
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