Statistics explained: how to make sense of ‘excess’ deaths | David Spiegelhalter

In the first of a new series, the leading Cambridge professor measures Covid-19’s impact

How many people have died because of the pandemic? How does this vary across countries? These are two of the most common questions I get asked and yet they are remarkably difficult to answer.

We could start by looking at the number of Covid deaths listed on a website and compare countries by Covid deaths per million population. But this assumes the way countries record a death as “Covid” is consistent and ignores any deaths caused by lockdown measures and disruption to health services. It’s fairer to look at what has happened to the total number of deaths.

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Source : Statistics explained: how to make sense of ‘excess’ deaths | David Spiegelhalter