The first classification of deaths according to cause of death dates back to the decade 1861-1870 . This first classification only included five diseases. Subsequently, the cause of death was classified according to Dr. Bertillón's list of 99 diagnoses which constituted the origin of the World Health Organisations´ (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) which is currently used for coding causes of death. Today, this classification is made up of more than 12,000 diseases.
Eurostat's website is the information source for European data where further information can be found through the theme Population and social conditions.