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Excess mortality continues to fall after the peak in April

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The number of deaths per week in Sweden continues to decrease, after the peak in April, according to Statistics Sweden’s preliminary statistics. In Stockholm County, excess mortality is declining, while in Västra Götaland County is appears to be rising.

The preliminary statistics have now been updated up to and including 22 May this year.

“The number of deaths per week has continued to decrease since week 15 (ending 12 April),” says Tomas Johansson, statistician at Statistics Sweden’s Population and Economic Welfare unit.

Statistics Sweden compares the preliminary statistics on deaths with the average for corresponding periods in 2015-2019. Levels that are higher than the average are known as excess mortality.

Number of deaths decreasing in Stockholm

During 1–15 May, there were 4 410 deaths registered to Statistics Sweden. This is 902 more than the average in 2015–2019, and is average mortality of 60 deaths per day.

Excess mortality during 16–30 April was 1 246 deaths, which corresponds to a daily excess mortality of 83 on average. During 1–15 April, excess mortality amounted to 1 586 deaths, which corresponds to an excess mortality of 106 per day.

“Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, excess mortality has been concentrated mainly to Stockholm County and its neighbouring counties. Now excess mortality is declining there, while it is rising in Västra Götaland County,” says Tomas Johansson.

Statistics Sweden has received information about 373 deaths in Stockholm County during week 20 (ending 17 May). This can be compared with 277, the average for week 20 in 2015–2019. This means that excess mortality in the county has now dropped to below 100 deaths per week for the first time since week 12.

During week 19 (ending 10 May), the number of deaths registered in Västra Götaland County was 401, which means an excess mortality of 137.

“Admittedly, according to the registered figures, excess mortality in Västra Götaland County declined in week 20, but this is probably due to a lag in the reporting,” says Tomas Johansson.

Major differences

There are major differences in mortality between Sweden’s three metropolitan municipalities. Both Stockholm and Göteborg have noted significant excess mortality in April and May, while Malmö still has not noted any excess mortality at all.

“However, excess mortality in Stockholm municipality has begun to approach normal levels, while in May, excess mortality was higher in Göteborg than in Stockholm,” says Tomas Johansson.

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

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


Johannes Cleris, Press officer

+46 72 084 40 83

Tomas Johansson

+46 10 479 64 26