EU excess mortality above the baseline in May 2023


July 14, 2023

In May 2023, excess mortality in the EU stood at an estimated +2.9 % (8100 excess deaths) above the baseline (average number of deaths for the same period in 2016-2019). In the same month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the COVID-19 public-health emergency.

Following exceptionally low mortality in February 2023 (-1.4 %) with no excess mortality for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, March (+0.9 %), April (+3.3 %) and May (+2.9 %) saw the return of the mortality rate above the baseline.

For context, the excess mortality rate was 8.0 % in May 2022 (31100 excess deaths), 10.7 % in May 2021 (48700 excess deaths), and 3.1 % in May 2020 (9700 excess deaths).

This information comes from data on excess mortality published by Eurostat today, based on weekly deaths data collection. The article presents a selection of findings from the more detailed Statistics.

Explained articles on excess mortality and weekly deaths.

In May 2023, 16 EU countries recorded excess deaths. Among these, Luxembourg (17.5%), Finland (14.3 %), Ireland (13.3 %) and Greece (10.1 %) recorded the highest excess mortality rates.

Among the countries that did not observe excess deaths, Romania (-8.8 %), Bulgaria (-7.7 %), Slovakia (-6.2 %) and Latvia (-6.0 %) recorded the lowest rates.

How did the situation evolve in your country?


Although excess mortality was observed during the past three years across Europe, the peaks and intensity of outbreaks varied greatly between countries. For further analysis, you can read the Statistics Explained article on excess mortality and use the interactive tool by selecting the country you would like to analyse.

For more information

Methodological notes

  • Italy: data not available.
  • Excess mortality refers to the number of deaths from all causes measured during a crisis, above what could be observed in ‘normal’ conditions. The excess mortality indicator draws attention to the magnitude of the health crisis by providing a comprehensive comparison of additional deaths amongst European countries and allows for further analysis of the causes.
  • Please note that while a substantial increase in excess mortality largely coincides with the COVID-19 outbreak, this indicator does not discriminate among the causes of death and does not identify differences between sex or age.
  • Eurostat has published data on healthcare provision and causes of death providing insight into health outcomes related to COVID-19 (online code: HLTH_CD_ARO).