Excess mortality and COVID-19 in Sweden in 2020: A demographic account

Martin Kolk, Sven Drefahl, Matthew Wallace, Gunnar Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


In this study, we provide an account of mortality levels in Sweden in 2020, focusing on both excess mortality and mortality due to COVID-19 deaths. We present various measures of life expectancy for women and men based on age-specific death rates in 2020. Our measures of excess mortality are based on comparisons with benchmarks derived from a previous mortality forecast for 2020 by Statistics Sweden and observed average mortality rates during 2017-2019. We present data on regional and seasonal variation in excess mortality, as well as estimates of Years of Potential Life Lost due to COVID-19. We decompose excess mortality in 2020 into excess mortality due to COVID-19 and excess mortality attributable to other causes. We also provide some estimates on the impact of excess mortality in 2020 on the remaining life expectancy for different cohorts of women and men in Sweden. We demonstrate that the impact of COVID-19 mortality was concentrated at higher ages, and among men in particular. Conversely, some younger age groups experienced negative excess mortality. The mortality changes during 2020 caused life expectancy levels to revert back to those observed in 2018 for women and in 2017 for men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-348
Number of pages32
JournalVienna Yearbook of Population Research
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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