Press release: 12.388-228/20

This is an archived press release from December 3, 2020. It reflects the status at that time and is no longer updated here. 
Tables with weekly updated figures can be found on our website.

Highest number of deaths in a single calendar week in 42 years

Vienna, 2020-12-03 – In week 47 (16 to 22 November 2020), 2 431 people died in Austria, according to preliminary results from Statistics Austria. More deaths were last recorded in the week from 20 to 26 February 1978, when 2 516 people died. There have also been weeks with high death rates in the recent past, for example during the strong flu epidemic at the beginning of 2017: At that time, 2 340 people died between 9 and 15 January 2017.

"There was a sad record of deaths in Austria in the 47th calendar week. With 2 431 deaths within a single week, the highest weekly number of deaths was reached in 42 years. The deaths in the 47th calendar week were 58% above the average for the comparison period from 2015 to 2019. A total of 77 662 people died in the first 47 weeks of the year. That is 6.5% more than the average for the comparison period", said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

The increase in deaths in the first 47 weeks of 2020 affected men (+9.4%) to a much greater extent than women (+3.9%).

From week 43 (from 19 October) onwards, significant increases in the number of deaths have been recorded from week to week. In total, over the five weeks from 19 October to 22 November 2020, 10 380 people died in Austria, which is 36% more than the average for the last five years (7 623 people).  

Since week 43, the deviations in absolute death rates have also been visible in the age-standardised death rates, in which the deaths were adjusted for age and population structure.

For more detailed information please refer to the German version.