Record low mortality in Sweden 2019/20 and 2020

SL
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:35 pm

Record low mortality in Sweden 2019/20 and 2020

Post by SL »

The below is based on statistics from SCB.

As 2020 draws to a close we can compare the Swedish management of Covid-19 with total mortality. Did Sweden fail or was it a normal year? It was actually better than normal. It was yet another year of record low mortality for all age groups and for both males and females.

Crude mortality for the 2019/20 (July-June) season is 920/100000. This is the 5th least deadly season since 1750. The 1st half of the 2020/21 season is currently well below the average mortality for the 2000-2019 period, so a fair guess is that 2020/21 also will end up in the top 10 unless a very severe flu strikes in late winter. Do note that the values may vary slightly between sources, due to exactly what SCB data set is used (and assuming no errors of course).

Below follow top 10 lists (values have been rounded to nearest whole number).

Top ten least deadly seasons in Sweden since data began to be reliably recorded:
2018/19 -- 868/100000
2015/16 -- 909/100000
2013/14 -- 910/100000
2017/18 -- 911/100000
2019/20 – 920/100000
2016/17 – 924/100000
1954/55 – 940/100000
2014/15 – 941/100000
1958/59 – 942/100000
1951/52 – 946/100000

Most deadly seasons since 1941:
1988/89 – 1125/100000
1984/85 – 1119/100000
1985/86 – 1114/100000
1987/88 – 1110/100000
1980/81 – 1109/100000
1986/87 – 1107/100000
1991/92 -- 1107/100000
1975/76 – 1106/100000
1990/91 – 1104/100000
1979/80 – 1101/100000

Top ten least deadly calendar years in Sweden since 1968:
2019 – 860/100000
2018 – 901/100000
2017 – 909/100000
2016 – 910/100000
2014 – 913/100000
2015 – 923/100000
2020 – 890-930/100000
2013 – 937/100000
2011 – 948/100000
2010 – 961/100000

Top ten most deadly calendar years in Sweden since 1968:
1988 – 1144/100000
1985 – 1125/100000
1986 – 1113/100000
1987 – 1109/100000
1993 -- 1109/100000
1990 – 1108/100000
1981 – 1106/100000
1980 – 1104/100000
1976 – 1101/100000
1991 – 1101/100000

Top ten most deadly months since 1941:
N.B. monhtly population before 2000 is estimated based on end of year data, so values for months before that year have an approximate error margin of +/- 5%. Deaths are based upon exact data. April 2020 approximately shared 46th place, although it was the highest ever for the month of April since 1941.
1993 december – 126/100000 (hospitals overwhelmed)
1988 december – 125/100000 (hospitals overwhelmed)
1951 january – 118/100000
1976 march – 117/100000 (coronavirus?)
1947 february – 115/100000
1996 january – 115/100000
2000 january -- 111/100000
1985 january – 110/100000
1989 january – 110/100000
1983 march – 109/100000

Mortality for males and females per 100000 of the total population as estimated per December 31 2020. Data for 2020 is preliminary, but does not indicate any increased risk. If any it indicates the opposite. It may be worth noting that mortality increased during 2007-2016 for the age 65-74 male and female groups, which may in part explain the subsequently decreasing deaths in older groups.
2018 2019 2020
M 0-64: 122 114 120
F 0-64: 76 73 70
M 65+: 761 733 784
F 65+: 834 788 773

A short historical note
This is a very short summary of mortality in Sweden as to give some background to the above. Since 1750 until 1875 on average 38-45% of all yearly deaths occurred in the age group 0-7 years. Today it is close to zero for most age groups as 90% of deaths occur in the 65+ group. Especially if the person is born to Swedish born parents. The demographic transition for children aged 0-7 years began in the 1870’s, although it slowly began for the population as a whole already in the first decades of the 1800’s. The transition mainly occurred due to clean water, improved sanitation and improved food security. Childhood mortality (0-7 y) has been decreasing almost asymptotically since the mid 1800’s. Since the introduction of vaccines in the 1940’s overt disease in the below mentioned diseases is extremely rare. It is rather unclear what effect smallpox vaccination, compulsory since 1816, had, as the disease had become uncommon before that date. Whether the decrease was due to early attempts at vaccination or for other reasons is difficult to ascertain. Smallpox epidemics continued until the end of the 1880’s and smallpox mortality did actually increase in certain age groups in the years following 1816. (Peter Sköld, The history of smallpox and its prevention in Sweden. Asclepio-Vol. LIV-1-2002.) Smallpox was the only vaccine given for about 120 years, until Sweden in the 1940’s and 50’s began vaccinating against diphtheria, pertussis, tuberculosis and tetanus. By then childhood mortality was already extremely low from a historical point of view. Polio vaccine was introduced 1957. The modern-day regimen began in 1971 with the introduction of the measles vaccine. (https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smi ... onsprogram)

SL
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:35 pm

Re: Record low mortality in Sweden 2019/20 and 2020

Post by SL »

Update:
The numbers for 2020 are more or less finalized and the november and especially december increases have affected the 2020 mortality upwards to 957/100000. Most excess death has occured in the 65+ group especially the 80+. Still within top 10 least deadly calendar years, but moved down three positions.

Top ten least deadly calendar years in Sweden since 1968:
2019 – 860/100000
2018 – 901/100000
2017 – 909/100000
2016 – 910/100000
2014 – 913/100000
2015 – 923/100000
2013 – 937/100000
2011 – 948/100000
2020 – 957/100000
2010 – 961/100000

SL
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:35 pm

Re: Record low mortality in Sweden 2019/20 and 2020

Post by SL »

Official yearly data were released at the end of february only change was to place 2020 as the 8th least deadly year (earlier prognosis indicated 9th)

Top ten least deadly calendar years in Sweden since 1968:
2019 – 860/100000
2018 – 901/100000
2017 – 909/100000
2016 – 910/100000
2014 – 913/100000
2015 – 923/100000
2013 – 937/100000
2020 – 945/100000
2011 – 948/100000
2010 – 961/100000

As can be noticed there is no epidemic signal in the yearly mortality data, albeit it is found in the monthly data.

An epidemic signal is also absent in age group yearly data (data calculated in relation to the population of each group):

All 0-44 None

Men 45-54 None (2019 was abnormally low, 2020 is back to normal averages)
Women 45-54 None

Men 55-64 None (2019 was abnormally low, 2020 is back to normal averages)
Women 55-64 None

Men 65-74 Slightly higher than the average for the last 8 years (1636/100000 vs 1605) , but still within top 10 lowest ever in history
Women 65-74 None (2019 was abnormally low, 2020 is back to normal averages)

Men 75-84 4th lowest in history (4674/100000)
Women 75-84 3rd lowest in history (3262/100000)

Men 85-94 10th lowest in history (17326/100000, coincidentally 20% of newly admitted to a swedish care homes for the elderly die within one month)
Women 85-94 7th lowest in history (12966/100000)

Men 95+ None (49495/100000, 1968-2020 average is 49135 +/- 2746, 1 std dev)
Women 95+ None (slightly lower tha average, 39025/100000, 40570+/-2814

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