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5 Slide Series

Volume 94-b

Relationship of COVID-19 to Overall Deaths in the U.S.

This week’s 5 Slide Edition presents our estimates of how many more deaths have occurred in 2020 and 2021 than would have in normal times. Our findings are striking: Between April 2020 and January 2021, total deaths in the U.S. were 25% above the amount that would have occurred based on each month’s average deaths across 2017 through 2019.  Our cumulative excess death estimate through January 2021, 591,492, is approximately 164,000 (or about 38.3%) above the number of COVID attributed deaths during this ten month timeframe.

We also compare 2020 deaths with prior years by race, finding that minority populations suffered the largest percentage increases in deaths during 2020 compared to historical averages. We also find that the 25–44 age bracket experienced the sharpest percentage increase in total deaths in 2020 compared to its 2015-2019 historical average, followed by the 65-74 and the 75-84 age cohorts.

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