Excess mortality: +12% in August after peak in July



Excess mortality in the EU fell to +12 % in August 2022 compared with the peak of +16% recorded in July, which was the highest value on record to date in 2022 and unusually high for the month of July. This comes after both May and June 2022 recorded +7% of the average number of deaths for the same period in 2016-2019.

Although not as dramatic as the difference recorded in July 2022 compared with July 2020 and 2021 (+16 % compared with +3 % and +6 %, respectively), the August 2022 value still shows an increase compared with August 2020 and 2021 (+8 % and +9 %, respectively). Based on the available information, some of the mortality increase in July and August 2022 compared to the same month of the past two years may be due to the heatwaves that have affected parts of Europe during the reference period.

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 across the EU Member States, with nine Member States recording values above the EU average. The highest rate in August 2022, which was double the EU average, was recorded in Greece (+24 %). Ireland and Germany followed (both +17 %). Meanwhile, the lowest rates were recorded in Hungary (+2 %), Slovakia (+4 %), Bulgaria and Czechia (both +5 %).

The EU registered earlier major peaks in excess deaths in April 2020 (+25 %), November 2020 (+40 %), April 2021 (+21 %) and November 2021 (+27 %).

How did the situation evolve in your country?
Although excess mortality was observed during most of the past two 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:

  • 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.