Excess mortality during pandemic tops 14 million


The World Health Organization estimates that excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021) globally was 14.91 million. Excess mortality includes reported COVID deaths (5.42 million) as well as unreported COVID deaths, all-cause mortality where COVID played a role, and excess deaths related to healthcare delivery. This methodology was used to more accurately reflect deaths directly and indirectly related to the pandemic.

In Canada, the number of excess deaths over the two-year period was 16,809. The expected number of deaths was 584,975; actual number was 606,994 – an increase of 3.8%.

Excess mortality in the U.K. was 148,897 (expected 1,237,723, actual 1,386,620). This represents an increase of 12.0%.

The U.S. recorded an excess mortality rate of 932,460 (expected 6,156,421, actual 7,088,881) in 2020-2021, an increase of 15.1%.

The WHO noted that 20 countries accounted for over 80% of global excess mortality. The worst-hit countries were Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the U.K., Turkey, Ukraine, and the U.S.

The WHO estimates for the U.S. differ somewhat from those reported by the Centers for Disease Control (www.census.gov/library/stories/2022/03/united-states-deaths-spiked-as-covid-19-continued.html). The CDC reported that mortality increased 19% between 2019 and 2020 – from 2,854,838 deaths to 3,390,029 deaths. This represented the largest annual increase in mortality in over 100 years. In 2020, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer). In 2021, almost 75% of U.S. counties recorded more deaths than births.

As of May 2022, about 6.3 million COVID-19 deaths have been reported worldwide (www.worldometer.com). The total number of deaths in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. is currently 40,326, 177,410, and 1,027,616, respectively.

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