Resilient healthcare

Excess mortality since January 2020

17/11/2021 PNG

Excess deaths reached 2.5 million in OECD countries in the 18-month period since January 2020. The highest excess mortality rates for this period were recorded in Mexico (4 456 per million people), Poland (3 663), the Czech Republic (3 465) and the Slovak Republic (3 133). Apart from Norway, all OECD countries registered more deaths during those 18 months than on average in the corresponding time period between 2015 and 2019.

Excess mortality is a measure of deaths from all causes over and above what could normally be expected for a given period, accounting for unreported COVID-19 deaths and deaths indirectly caused by the virus. Excess mortality was much higher than reported deaths in some countries (e.g. Mexico and Poland), indicating either underreporting of COVID-19 deaths and/or additional deaths due to other factors. In others, it was lower than reported deaths (e.g. Belgium, Sweden and the UK), indicating an overestimation of COVID-19 deaths and/or reduced mortality in other areas.

As of early October 2021, shares of populations fully vaccinated were lowest in Colombia and Mexico (33.6% and 35.4%, respectively). The highest vaccination rates were seen in Portugal, Iceland and Spain (85.2%, 80.5% and 78.6%, respectively).

See also: Health at a Glance 2021