1. Epidemiology and Global Health
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Tracking excess mortality across countries during the COVID-19 pandemic with the World Mortality Dataset

  1. Ariel Karlinsky  Is a corresponding author
  2. Dmitry Kobak  Is a corresponding author
  1. Hebrew University, Israel
  2. Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Germany
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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e69336 doi: 10.7554/eLife.69336
4 figures, 1 table and 1 additional file

Figures

Countries in the World Mortality Dataset are shown in blue.

Small countries and territories are shown with circles.

Figure 2 with 1 supplement
Excess mortality time series.

Each subplot shows baseline mortality (black), mortality in 2015–2019 (gray), in 2020 (red) and in 2021 (blue). Excess mortality is shown in red/blue shading. The numbers in each subplot are: total excess mortality (red), excess mortality per 100,000 population (black), excess mortality as a percentage of annual baseline mortality (gray), and undercount ratio of COVID-19 deaths (blue). See text for the exact definitions. All numbers were rounded to two significant digits; numbers below 100 to one significant digit. The y-axis in each subplot starts at 0 and goes until 200% where 100% corresponds to the average baseline mortality. The x-axis covers the entire year. Asterisks mark excess mortality estimates that were downwards corrected (see Materials and methods). Countries are sorted by the excess mortality as a percentage of annual baseline mortality (gray number). Undercount estimates are not shown for countries with negative total excess deaths and for selected countries where excess deaths were likely not related to the COVID-19 pandemic (Hong Kong, Thailand, Cuba); see Materials and methods.

Figure 2—figure supplement 1
Excess mortality time series, normalized per population size.

The figure is fully analogous to Figure 2, but countries are sorted by the excess mortality per 100,000 population, and all shown curves are normalized to yield mortality per 1000 people per year (each data point shows what mortality per 1000 people per year would be if the death rate stayed at the same level throughout the year).

Figure 3 with 1 supplement
Top 10 countries in the World Mortality Dataset by various excess mortality measures.

Each subplot shows the top 10 countries for each of our four excess mortality measures: total number of excess deaths; excess deaths per 100,000 population; excess deaths as a percentage of baseline annual mortality; undercount ratio (ratio of excess deaths to reported COVID-19 deaths by the same date). Error bars denote 95% confidence intervals corresponding to the uncertainty of the excess deaths estimate. Countries with population below 500,000 are not shown. Different countries have different reporting lags, so the estimates shown here correspond to different time points, as indicated. Excess mortality estimates in Armenia and Azerbaijan were downwards corrected by 4000 to account for the war casualties (see Materials and methods).

Figure 3—figure supplement 1
Top 10 countries in the World Mortality Dataset by various excess mortality measures by the end of 2020.

Each subplot shows the top 10 countries for each of our four excess mortality measures: total number of excess deaths; excess deaths per 100,000 population; excess deaths as a percentage of baseline annual mortality; undercount ratio (ratio of excess deaths to reported COVID-19 deaths by the same date). Error bars denote 95% confidence intervals corresponding to the uncertainty of the excess deaths estimate. Countries with population below 500,000 are not shown. Excess mortality estimates in Armenia and Azerbaijan were downwards corrected by 4000 to account for the war casualties (see Materials and mthods).

Relation between weekly excess deaths and weekly reported COVID-19 deaths.

Sixteen selected countries are shown together with the Pearson correlation coefficient (r) between the two time series, starting from week 10 of 2020. Note the peak in excess mortality (but not in the reported COVID-19 deaths) associated with the August 2020 heat wave in Belgium, France, Germany, and Netherlands.

Tables

Table 1
Excess mortality metrics for all countries in the dataset.

Abbreviations: ‘w’ – weekly data, ‘m’ – monthly data, ‘q’ – quarterly data. All numbers were rounded to two significant digits; numbers below 100 — to one significant digit. See text for the exact definitions of all reported metrics. ‘Official’ means the official daily reported number of COVID-19 deaths. Undercount estimates are not shown for countries with negative total excess deaths and for selected countries where excess deaths were likely not related to the COVID-19 pandemic (Hong Kong, Thailand, Cuba); see Materials and methods.

CountryData untilTypeOfficialExcessstdzUndercountPer 100kIncrease
AlbaniaMar 31, 2021m2,2009,300±81011.44.232043
AndorraDec 31, 2020m8080±303.11.011025
ArgentinaDec 31, 2020m43,00041,000±nannan1.09012
ArmeniaApr 30, 2021m4,1008,300±84010.02.028033
ArubaDec 31, 2020m5050±301.51.0507
AustraliaMar 28, 2021w910−3,700±1,0003.6−10−2
AustriaJun 13, 2021w10,0009,800±1,4007.00.911012
AzerbaijanFeb 28, 2021m3,20018,000±1,40013.05.618032
BelarusJun 30, 2020m3905,700±9306.114.5605
BelgiumJun 13, 2021w25,00016,000±1,8008.70.614014
BoliviaMay 31, 2021m14,00036,000±77046.42.531068
BosniaMar 31, 2021m6,6008,900±9909.01.427025
BrazilMay 31, 2021m460,000500,000±14,00035.01.124037
BulgariaJun 20, 2021w18,00032,000±1,80017.51.846029
CanadaMar 07, 2021w22,00015,000±1,7008.60.7405
ChileJun 13, 2021w31,00030,000±1,10026.71.016027
ColombiaMay 09, 2021w77,00092,000±1,50061.21.218036
Costa RicaDec 31, 2020m2,200940±3702.50.4204
CroatiaMay 30, 2021w8,0008,800±1,0008.81.121017
CubaDec 31, 2020m150580±2,1000.3101
CyprusMay 09, 2021w330340±1602.11.0305
CzechiaMay 23, 2021w30,00035,000±1,80018.81.232030
DenmarkJun 20, 2021w2,500−630±6101.0−10−1
EcuadorJun 20, 2021w21,00062,000±96064.42.935080
EgyptNov 30, 2020m6,60087,000±13,0006.913.19016
El SalvadorAug 31, 2020m7204,700±8905.36.67011
EstoniaJun 27, 2021w1,3001,800±3006.01.414012
FinlandJun 13, 2021w960410±6800.60.4101
FranceJun 13, 2021w110,00072,000±8,0008.90.711012
French GuianaJun 13, 2021w130−20±600.3−10−2
French PolynesiaDec 31, 2020m110120±901.41.1408
GeorgiaDec 31, 2020m2,5004,800±1,0004.71.912011
GermanyJun 20, 2021w90,00039,000±17,0002.30.4504
GibraltarJan 31, 2021m8020±201.10.3707
GreeceMay 02, 2021w10,0007,500±2,0003.80.7706
GreenlandDec 31, 2020m0−20±300.5−30−3
GuadeloupeJun 13, 2021w260220±1102.00.8606
GuatemalaDec 27, 2020w4,80010,000±70014.52.16012
Hong KongMar 31, 2021m2002,100±1,1001.9304
HungaryMay 30, 2021w30,00024,000±2,30010.20.824018
IcelandMar 21, 2021w30−20±700.2−0−1
IranSep 21, 2020q24,00058,000±7,9007.32.47015
IrelandMay 31, 2021m5,0001,400±7301.90.3304
IsraelMay 30, 2021w6,4004,800±5508.90.86010
ItalyApr 04, 2021w110,000120,000±9,00013.91.121019
JamaicaNov 30, 2020m260−320±3101.0−10−2
JapanApr 30, 2021m10,000−15,000±12,0001.3−10−1
KazakhstanApr 30, 2021m6,60035,000±3,40010.35.318026
KosovoMar 31, 2021m1,9002,800±3108.91.515030
KyrgyzstanApr 30, 2021m1,6007,900±67011.84.912024
LatviaJun 13, 2021w2,5003,000±4406.81.216010
LebanonApr 30, 2021m7,3008,900±9709.21.213036
LiechtensteinApr 30, 2021m6050±301.70.812017
LithuaniaJun 20, 2021w4,4009,500±60015.92.235025
LuxembourgJun 06, 2021w820190±1401.40.2304
MacaoApr 30, 2021m0−40±1100.3−10−2
MalaysiaMar 31, 2021m1,300−6,600±1,9003.5−20−4
MaltaMay 16, 2021w420360±1203.00.9809
MartiniqueJun 13, 2021w10030±1100.30.3101
MauritiusApr 30, 2021m20−440±2401.8−30−4
MayotteJun 13, 2021w170320±506.51.812040
MexicoMay 23, 2021w220,000470,000±6,60070.12.136061
MoldovaMar 31, 2021m5,0008,000±8809.01.620022
MonacoMay 31, 2021m30120±502.53.730024
MongoliaMay 31, 2021m280−1,900±4903.9−60−11
MontenegroMar 28, 2021w1,2001,400±1708.41.223021
NetherlandsJun 20, 2021w18,00019,000±1,9009.81.111012
New ZealandJun 06, 2021w30−1,900±4104.7−40−5
NicaraguaAug 31, 2020m1407,000±27026.050.810027
North MacedoniaApr 30, 2021m4,9008,600±77011.31.842043
NorwayJun 20, 2021w790−1,500±5302.9−30−4
OmanMay 31, 2021m2,3002,200±3306.70.94024
PanamaApr 30, 2021m6,2006,500±42015.71.015031
ParaguayMay 31, 2021m9,1009,600±92010.31.113028
PeruJun 27, 2021w190,000190,000±2,00095.91.0590153
PhilippinesDec 31, 2020m9,200−7,700±5,9001.3−10−1
PolandJun 13, 2021w75,000120,000±5,50021.11.631028
PortugalJun 06, 2021w17,00019,000±2,1009.01.118016
QatarApr 30, 2021m460650±709.21.42029
RomaniaApr 25, 2021w31,00054,000±3,50015.31.728020
RussiaApr 30, 2021m110,000500,000±33,00015.24.534028
RéunionJun 13, 2021w210190±1301.50.9204
San MarinoMay 31, 2021m90110±303.41.232042
SerbiaMay 31, 2021m6,90028,000±3,6007.74.040027
SeychellesDec 31, 2020m0−170±404.1−170−20
SingaporeMar 31, 2021m30−160±3800.4−0−1
SlovakiaMay 16, 2021w12,00017,000±92018.11.431030
SloveniaMay 23, 2021w4,7003,700±37010.00.818017
South AfricaJun 27, 2021w60,000160,000±nannan2.727032
South KoreaMay 02, 2021w1,800−3,300±2,9001.1−10−1
SpainJun 20, 2021w81,00087,000±6,30013.91.119020
SwedenJun 06, 2021w15,0008,900±1,1008.50.69010
SwitzerlandJun 06, 2021w10,0008,600±1,1008.00.810013
TaiwanMay 31, 2021m140−6,600±5,7001.2−30−4
TajikistanDec 31, 2020q909,000±1,4006.6100.09027
ThailandJun 30, 2021m2,10014,000±13,0001.1203
TransnistriaMay 31, 2021m1,2001,600±2406.41.334023
TunisiaFeb 14, 2021w7,5004,600±1,1004.30.6406
UkraineApr 30, 2021m44,00081,000±13,0006.41.820014
United KingdomJun 13, 2021w130,000110,000±9,20011.90.916018
United StatesJun 06, 2021w590,000640,000±16,00038.91.119022
UruguayDec 31, 2020m170−2,200±7103.2−60−6
UzbekistanMar 31, 2021m63020,000±3,9005.031.56013

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