Excess mortality in the European Union (EU) reached 26.5 percent in November 2021, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, reported on Friday.
Excess mortality is calculated by comparing the total number of deaths with a baseline of average from 2016 to 2019.
In 2021, excess mortality peaked in spring before dropping to six percent in July. However, the rate started to rise again at the end of summer and kept rising in autumn, reaching 26.5 percent in November, Eurostat said.
The rate considerably varied from one EU country to another.
In November 2021, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania recorded rates higher than 40 percent. Some countries recorded rates below 20 percent, or even leaning towards a zero-excess rate, according to Eurostat. Sweden recorded a negative figure for excess deaths in November 2021, while Italy and France’s levels were below the five percent mark.
Excess mortality has been tracked in the EU since the beginning of the pandemic. Although it records all deaths, it gives an indication of how many people died compared to pre-pandemic levels. In the period between January 2020 and November 2021, the highest excess mortality value in the EU – 40 percent – was reached in November 2020.