Additional analysis of Victorian mortality data

Media Release
Released
10/03/2021

Analysis of deaths in Victoria through 2020 has shown there were 125 excess deaths recorded during the state’s second wave of COVID-19, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Excess mortality refers to deaths that have exceeded expected numbers based on the pre-COVID-19 period.

Director of Mortality Statistics at the ABS, James Eynstone-Hinkins, said: “The data show that COVID-19 was the main contributor to excess deaths recorded in Victoria between 27 July and 23 August, with deaths from other diseases and conditions more in line with historical trends.”

In late March and early April, small numbers of excess deaths from respiratory conditions were recorded both nationally and in Victoria. However, from the end of May onwards, numbers of deaths from respiratory diseases have been significantly below expected counts.

“It’s likely that reduced transmission of other infectious diseases has contributed to the low number of respiratory disease deaths, with only seven deaths from influenza recorded in Victoria in 2020,” said Mr Eynstone-Hinkins.

Excess deaths were recorded in the Greater Melbourne area but not in the rest of the state.

Comprehensive data and analysis can be found in the article ‘Measuring excess mortality in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic’ attached to the Provisional mortality statistics report (cat. no. 3303.0.55.004), available for free download from the ABS website - http://www.abs.gov.au.

This release is part of a range of additional products from the ABS to measure the impact of COVID-19.

Media Notes

  • Data in this report are provisional, limited to deaths certified by doctors (not coroner referred), and are based on date of death and state or territory of registration. Data are not comparable with annual data released in Deaths, Australia or Causes of Death, Australia.

  • Counts of excess deaths are calculated by comparing actual numbers of deaths with projected counts based on historical data.

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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