EU Excess mortality down to 6 % in March 2022


After the fourth wave of excess mortality in the autumn of 2021, when excess mortality in the EU reached a new peak of +26 % in November and +23 % in December (compared with the average number of deaths between 2016 and 2019), data for 2022 continues to show improvement. Following a stable excess mortality rate at +7 % in January and February 2022, the EU excess mortality fell slightly to +6 % in March.

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

Excess mortality continued to vary in all EU Member States with available data. Cyprus (+33 %) and Greece (+31 %) showed rates above 30 %, while Sweden (-5 %) and Luxembourg (-1 %) registered mortality below the baseline.

The EU registered previous peaks in excessive deaths in April 2020 (+25 %), November 2020 (+40 %) and April 2021 (+21 %).

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Methodological notes:

  • 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.