Around 27% more people died in the European Union in November than usual, according to official figures released today, the biggest increase in a year in which a new wave of COVID-19 swept the region.
Excessive mortality – an increase in the total number of deaths from any cause compared to the same period in previous years – continues to vary by country, according to European statistics office Eurostat.
Bulgaria and Romania recorded the highest numbers in November, with deaths reaching 88% and 84% respectively, while Italy recorded 4% more deaths.
Only about 30% of Bulgarians are fully vaccinated, the lowest in the EU, while Romania is the country with the second lowest rate of vaccinated citizens in the EU, with about 40% of the population fully vaccinated.
Sweden, which avoided severe restrictions during the health crisis, is the only country that did not see an increase in extra deaths in November. The country recorded a decrease of 0.5%.
The highest level of additional deaths in the EU since the start of the pandemic was recorded in November 2020 at 40%.
While the significant rise in excess deaths largely coincides with the COVID-19 outbreaks, Eurostat does not differentiate figures by cause of death, sex or age.