Excess deaths reach 16,000 in 2021, taking two-year pandemic total to 31,000

Photo: DutchNews.nl
Photo: DutchNews.nl

Almost 171,000 people died in the Netherlands last year, some 16,000 more than statisticians would have expected, national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.

But fewer people died in residential care and there has been no major impact on life expectancy figures, the CBS said.

In 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, 15,000 more people died than forecast. The figures cut across all age groups, but the 11% excess mortality rate among people aged 50 to 65 was significantly higher than in 2020, the CBS said.

The ‘excess deaths’ figure is considered an indicator of the spread of coronavirus, and reached a peak during the first wave of the pandemic, when in the 14th week of 2020, there were some 2,000 more deaths than would be expected.

The government’s coronavirus dashboard only includes people who have had an official test registered with the RIVM and currently stands at 21,227.The CBS collates death certificates, where GPs register the cause of death, and this data is considered by the government to be ‘the most accurate’ coronavirus mortality rate.

The statistics office has now studied causes of death up to the end of August and concluded that by then at least 32,054 people had died of coronavirus in the Netherlands since the start of the pandemic.

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