The European Union saw 6.7% more deaths than usual in November, down sharply from 40% in the same month of 2020 and 26.5% in November 2021, official data from the bloc’s statistics office showed on Tuesday.
The EU’s excess mortality rate measures the increase in total number of deaths, from any cause, compared with the same month in previous years.
The November 2022 rate of 6.7% was a fall from 10.6% in October, and was almost in line with monthly averages for 2016-2019, Eurostat said.
The excess mortality rate in November 2020 and November 2021 of 40% and 26.5% respectively were the two highest peaks of four distinct waves of excess mortality seen between March 2020 and November 2022, and coincided with COVID-19 pandemic outbreaks.
In 2022, a peak was reached in July at 16.8%, likely due to extreme heatwaves which hit parts of Europe and led to thousands of heat-related deaths, Eurostat said.
The excess mortality rate in November 2022 varied across the EU, with Slovakia (-1.6%), Bulgaria (-2.6%), Romania (-6.2%) and Italy (0.5%) recording little or no excess deaths.
Cyprus, Finland and Germany recorded excess mortality rates of 23.8%, 20.5% and 15.6% respectively in November, Eurostat said.