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Break in the trend in statistics on deaths unclear

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The number of deaths per week in Sweden continues to decline – but some excess mortality was nonetheless noted in week 23 (ending 7 June), according to Statistics Sweden’s preliminary statistics. On the whole, levels are close to normal for this time of year.

The preliminary statistics on deaths have now been updated up to and including 12 June this year. Statistics Sweden compares these with the average for corresponding periods in 2015–2019. Levels that are higher than the average are known as excess mortality.
There were 1 595 deaths registered in week 23 according to preliminary statistics, which is 28 more than the average in 2015–2019.

Excess mortality has decreased markedly since mid-April. However, there is a minor break in the trend in the statistics. This break is most visible in Stockholm County, in which excess mortality was slightly higher in week 23 than in week 22.

“The statistics for week 23 are difficult to understand. It is not easy to say whether the changes are due to normal random variations or whether something is actually happening,” says Tomas Johansson.

In the Excel file, these statistics are also presented by region and municipality, and by sex and age.

Further statistics on deaths is available in Eurostat’s database. In addition to Sweden’s statistics, Eurostat’s database contains corresponding figures for many other EU countries.

Facts: Preliminary statistics

Statistics Sweden’s preliminary statistics on deaths have been produced to provide rapid access to developments during the coronavirus outbreak, and to enable comparison with previous years. The statistics are reported on Mondays and should be regarded as raw data. These statistics are updated as new data is made available, as there is a lag in reporting, in particular for the days closest to publication.

Statistics from two weeks ago are not expected to change substantially. Previous years’ statistics are based on Statistics Sweden’s final observation register. Only persons whose date of death is known are included in the above calculations.

These statistics do not list the cause of death, but rather present the number of deaths among people registered in the population in Sweden.


Preliminary statistics on deaths (Excel file)

Read more articles at on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting society

Statistics on deaths available at Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office


Tomas Johansson

+46 10 479 64 26