The Strategist

28 million years of life lost to the pandemic in 2020 in 37 countries

12/09/2021 - 06:39

During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, inhabitants in 37 developed countries lost a total of 28 million years of life, states a research by an international team of demographers.

The countries with the most such losses were Russia, Bulgaria, Latvia, the United States, and Poland. According to the report, increasing viral mortality among relatively young people contributed to these countries' record results.

The statistics for 37 industrialized countries, which are available in the international database of mortality, were used as a base for the computations and analysis. The Human Mortality Database is a collection of information about people who have died.

The experts stated that due to problems in codifying this cause of death, it is impossible to determine the full impact on the demographic situation of fatalities of persons who died directly from COVID-19. Furthermore, it is impossible to compare death-counting methods in different countries with any degree of confidence.

The difference between the number of deaths projected before the coronavirus pandemic and those actually documented at the end of the previous year is a more accurate computation of excess deaths. Changes in life expectancy as well as the number of years lost due to premature deaths were considered.

In most of the countries surveyed, life expectancy predictably declined over the past year.

It is noted that the indicator of life expectancy at the end of 2020 has not changed in South Korea, Norway and Denmark. At the same time in New Zealand and Taiwan it increased (by 0.66 and 0.35 years respectively).

The number of years of life lost to premature death at the end of last year, according to the survey, was 28 million years, of which 17.3 million years were lost by men.