How many deaths are registered per week?

Mortality in the Netherlands currently stands at 2,900 per week on average. It is higher during winter than during summer.

The higher winter mortality often coincides with outbreaks of influenza and/or the common cold. At the beginning of 2018, for example, there was a significantly longer outbreak of influenza in particular . This led to exceptionally high mortality, with almost 4,100 deaths in week 10 (5 through 11 March).

Winter mortality is relatively high among the elderly. In the first 15 weeks of 2019, the number of deaths among those aged 80 and over exceeded the number in an average week that year by 10 percent on average. It was 3 percent higher among people under the age of 80.

Conversely, mortality is below average among the elderly during the rest of the year, except during summertime heatwaves.

How is the situation in 2020?

In 2020, mortality stood at 3,145 per week on average in the weeks up to and including week 11 (9 to 15 March). This is slightly lower than last year, when the average over the first 11 weeks stood at 3,174. The first weeks of this year were not marked by a significant rise in influenza cases, and temperatures were not particularly low.

As of week 12 (16 to 22 March), the number of deaths increased to 5,084 in week 14 (30 March to 5 April). The rise coincides with the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic. After the peak in week 14, mortality decreased to 2,774 in week 20 (11 to 17 May). Subsequently, mortality remained below this level, slightly less than expected for this period.  In week 32 (3 to 9 August), 2,638 people died. During the heat wave, 3,206 people passed away in week 33 (10 to 16 August) and 2,845 people in week 34 (17 to 23 August). After that, the death rate went down again. In week 38 (14 to 20 September), 2,710 people died. Mortality increased slightly as of week 39 (21 to 27 September). In week 41 (28 September to 4 October), there were 2,996 deaths.

The first confirmed COVID-19 patient in the Netherlands was reported on 27 February 2020. The first death involving COVID-19 was reported on 6 March 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.

Estimated mortality, 2020*
 DeathsEstimated mortalityEstimated mortality (95% interval)
1310332772908 – 3645
2336433112930 – 3692
3315733442945 – 3742
4304633923008 – 3776
5316234073027 – 3788
6319334012979 – 3823
7319934082916 – 3901
8295933872851 – 3922
9309733522805 – 3898
10310433152785 – 3845
11321732532756 – 3751
12361531742711 – 3637
13445931042703 – 3505
14508430242712 – 3337
15497929572719 – 3195
16430329152711 – 3120
17390728692677 – 3060
18337828412650 – 3032
19298628212633 – 3009
20277427942626 – 2962
21277027702620 – 2920
22272627532608 – 2898
23268227352591 – 2880
24269127372600 – 2875
25269427252594 – 2855
26265927172577 – 2857
27263627232544 – 2902
28261827192515 – 2923
29252627202507 – 2934
30267227072515 – 2900
31265926872492 – 2882
32263826822483 – 2881
33320626692481 – 2857
34284526632510 – 2815
35273126672526 – 2807
36267926762549 – 2804
37273326982564 – 2832
38271027292585 – 2873
39288127522618 – 2886
40298827862628 – 2943
41299628072655 – 2960
42322428392677 – 3001
4328622661 – 3063
4428892683 – 3095
4529022692 – 3111
4629322710 – 3155
4729722742 – 3202
4830122762 – 3263
4930372742 – 3332
5031002800 – 3399
5131662830 – 3501
5232222871 – 3573
* Provisional figures. Week 42 is an estimate.

What are the projections?

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) receives mortality data on a daily basis. In general, some time elapses between the actual date of death and the moment when these data reach CBS. Death announcements are collected weekly (on Thursdays). Usually, mortality data collected on Thursday include slightly over 80 percent of all deaths over the previous week. This information provides an indication of what we can expect for the coming week.

In the past few weeks, death announcements arrived faster than usual (the number of announcements received after one week averaged 83 percent of the total, excluding weeks with holidays).

For week 42, it is expected that the weekly number of deaths is higher than the expected level for this time of year. The number of death announcements received after one week is 2,685. The number of deaths for week 42 is estimated at over 3,200. This is 400 more than normally expected in this period. The elevated mortality coincides with the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in the Netherlands.

Table 1: Weekly mortality by age
PeriodAll ages0 to 64 yrs65 to 79 yrs80 yrs and over
2020, week 31*2,6593728411,446
2020, week 32*2,6384188201,400
2020, week 33*3,2064639281,815
2020, week 34*2,8454148581,573
2020, week 35*2,7313528631,516
2020, week 36*2,6794118251,443
2020, week 37*2,7333928921,449
2020, week 38*2,7103928401,478
2020, week 39*2,8813908741,617
2020, week 40*2,9884309081,650
2020, week 41*2,9963719781,647
2020, week 42*3,2244579501,817
* Provisional figures. Week 42 is an estimate.

Sources