Number of deaths increased sharply in 2020

Around a quarter more people died in the last two weeks of December than in previous years.

The corona pandemic led to a significant increase in deaths in the previous year. As Statistics Austria announced on Thursday, at least 90,123 people died in Austria in 2020 – almost eleven percent more than the average for the past five years. However, this is a provisional number that should increase due to late registrations from the registry offices. In addition, life expectancy has decreased by half a year compared to 2019.

For men, life expectancy is now 78.9 years and for women 83.7 years. “With vaccinations becoming more widespread and after the pandemic has been overcome, it can be assumed that life expectancy will return to the growth trend in the medium term. The experiences from stronger flu years show something similar. However, the possible long-term consequences of surviving corona diseases are still open, “said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

A long-term comparison of death data is difficult because the number of inhabitants and the age structure of the population change over the years. Measured against the average deaths from 2015 to 2019, however, there was a clear “excess mortality” from the end of October of the previous year. In these weeks, up to 60 percent more people died. Most recently, excess mortality has fallen somewhat and was again somewhat lower than in the past Peak of the strong flu epidemic in 2017: In the week from December 21st to 27th, 2,114 people died – 22 percent more than in previous years. The following week there were 1,964 deaths – 28 percent more than in 2015, in which there was last a 53rd calendar week.

The European mortality monitoring Euromomo has also shown a high or very high excess mortality for Austria since the beginning of November. This means that the second wave of infections in autumn differs significantly from the first in spring. At that time, Euromomo only found a slight excess mortality in Austria.

According to data from the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) have been since the outbreak of the pandemic 6,826 people in Austria Died either directly as a result of a Covid disease or after a Covid infection, 6,312 of them in 2020. Measured by the number of inhabitants, Styria is most affected with 118 corona deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Carinthia (97) and Upper Austria (83). The proportion is lowest in Lower Austria and Vorarlberg, each with 59 corona deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.


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