April was Sweden’s deadliest month in over 20 years

More people died per 100,000 people in Sweden last month than in any other month since early 2000, new statistics show.

A total of 10,458 people died in April, according to preliminary statistics by Statistics Sweden.

“We have to go back to December 1993 to find more deaths in a single month. Then, 11,057 people died. In total, 97,008 people died in 1993 which was the highest number of deaths in one year since 1918 during the peak of the Spanish flu,” said Tomas Johansson, analyst at Statistics Sweden, in a statement.

If you take population figures into account however, more people died in January 2000 than in April this year. A total of 110.8 people per 100,000 inhabitants died that month, compared to 101.1 last month.

The high death numbers in December 1993 and January 2000 were likely both caused by unusually serious outbreaks of the seasonal flu at the time, which claimed many lives, particularly during the 1993-1994 season.

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Statistics Sweden's report also looks at excess mortality, which it defines as mortality figures higher than the average in the same period between 2015-2019. It shows that between April 13th and May 10th, all of Sweden's 21 administrative regions apart from Västerbotten experienced excess mortality in 2020.

In six of the regions, excess mortality was less than 10 percent, including southern region Skåne where 945 people died in those weeks compared to an average of 882 people in the same period 2015-2019.

The number of new deaths linked to the coronavirus is going down in Sweden, as is the number of deaths in general, according to Statistics Sweden. In Stockholm – the epicentre of the epidemic in Sweden – 414 deaths were reported in week 19 (May 4th-10th), 363 fewer deaths than in week 15 (April 6th-12th).

“In week 19, Örebro is the only region that had statistically significant excess mortality of more than 50 percent compared to the years 2015-2019,” said Johansson in the press release by Statistics Sweden.

Stockholm recorded an excess mortality of 101 percent in April, reports the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Statistics Sweden has made its preliminary data on deaths available earlier than usual, with the aim of giving a clearer picture of the impact of the new coronavirus.

While not all of the recorded deaths will be due to the virus, it's likely that the virus is the main reason for the extra deaths compared to previous years, so these figures help us get a clear picture of its impact on society.

Just over 2,500 people died in April after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to the Swedish Public Health Agency, which includes deaths that take place in hospitals, care homes and elsewhere


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