# Figure of the day: Russia is among the top three in terms of excess deaths in 2020

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Figure of the day: Russia is among the top three in terms of excess deaths in 2020
17 December 2020, 10:14
Among 35 developed countries of the world, ours ranks third after Italy and Poland.

Alexey Zakharov, mathematician and associate professor at the Higher School of Economics, estimated excess mortality in 2020 for 35 countries per thousand people (1). As a result, Russia ended up in third place, behind only Italy and Poland. The expert himself explains the principle of his calculation as follows:

“Let me remind you that in our country the excess mortality is about 280 thousand people. I decided to take this value [excess mortality] for two reasons. Firstly, the reported number of deaths from covid is sometimes much less than excess mortality (in our country, also in Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and some other countries). Secondly, about 85-90% of excess mortality is covid, the rest is also, most likely, the consequences of the epidemic (a consequence of overloading the health care system, stress, the consequences of losing a job and decreasing welfare, etc.). So excess mortality is a good way to see how well the state and society are coping with the challenge of the epidemic. Russia is not doing well.

(1) Shows the number of deaths through December 13, 2020 minus the number of deaths in the same period last year, divided by the country's population at the beginning of 2020. If more died last year, then the number of deaths from covid is shown. For 30 countries out of 35, excess mortality data were available through the end of November or the end of October. Data gaps were estimated from data on mortality from covid, taking into account how excess mortality and mortality from covid are related in each country.

UPD. There are mainly developed countries and almost no, for example, Latin America. In Peru, in particular, excess mortality is even higher than in Poland".

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