A fraction of European regions account for a majority of COVID-19 deaths
Our analysis is based on data showing daily or weekly all-cause deaths in each region, which has been collated from Eurostat and national statistical agencies (UK: ONS, NRS and NISRA; Germany: Destatis; Spain: ISCIII; Netherlands: CBS)
We have gathered as geographically granular data as possible (mostly at the NUTS3 level), but in countries such as Germany and the UK only NUTS1 level data has been published, and in the Netherlands only NUTS2. A number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe have not reported any regional statistics on excess. These are excluded from this analysis.
Excess deaths have been calculated by comparing all deaths reported in a region since the start of the pandemic with the average number of deaths during that time period in the previous couple of years.
For most countries, the average period is 2015-2019. Others have fewer years of data available, but at least two full years have been used. Some, like Spain, have modelled the expected number of deaths for 2020 instead of providing historical figures.
A region is defined as having had excess deaths if reported deaths were at least 5 percent higher and 20 more than expected. If deaths were at least 25 percent higher than expected, we have defined it as a region with “significant excess”.