Small EU countries had more COVID-related deaths per million since pandemic started

While the EU’s most populous countries are recording the most overall COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Bulgaria had the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths in relation to their populations during the same period.

After a year of the pandemic, France became the second EU country to pass the 100,000-mark last week, joining Italy, which counted 117,633 deaths as of Wednesday (21 April). Right behind are Germany with 80,680 deaths, Spain with 77,102, and Poland with 62,133.

Such figures are not surprising given the countries’ populations. The five countries are the EU’s most populous member states, according to Eurostat figures  from January.

Germany’s 83.2 million inhabitants represent 18.6% of the total EU population, while France and Italy’s respective 67.1 million and 60.2 million inhabitants represent 15% and 13.5%.

They are followed by Spain’s 47.3 million and Poland’s 38 million, which make up 10.6% and 8.5% of Europeans respectively. In total, these five countries account for 295.8 million inhabitants or 66.07% of the EU’s total population of 447.7 million.

Proportionally speaking, however, these large countries were not the most affected by the pandemic.

With more than 2,600 COVID-19-related deaths per one million inhabitants, the Czech Republic has the highest mortality rate. It is followed by Hungary which has close to the same number of deaths per million, and Bulgaria with about 2,200 COVID-19-related deaths per million.

Belgium, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Portugal are also among the ten most affected countries. However, some large countries – Italy, Spain and Poland – are also at the top of the list.

Generally speaking, the more populous nations seem to have managed to avoid more deaths, especially Germany with about 959.05 deaths per million inhabitants and France with 1,487.05 deaths per million inhabitants. Among EU countries, Germany came 22nd and France 12th in terms of COVID-19-related deaths per million inhabitants.

Available translations
Sunday 25 April 2021


Anne Damiani


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