What is it about?

A new method for short-term mortality forecasts. How many deaths might have happened, if Covid-19 had not occurred? Using the ratio of deaths of two parts of a year, we estimated expected and excess (observed minus expected) deaths due to Covid-19 from March through June 2020 in Denmark vs. Sweden. Sweden, which did not enforce a lockdown during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, experienced a significant higher risk of excess death than Denmark, which enforced a lockdown. Forecasts are less bias, more precise and as simple as 5-years average.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Death counts often show trends over time due to changes in population age structure and changes in age-specific mortality. Hence, it might be problematic to forecast death counts based on averages of death counts in previous years, as it is often done. However, the ratio of deaths in two parts of the year may be fairly constant. Our findings show indeed that death counts in the first part of an epiyear (July through February) are very closely associated with death counts in the second part of the epiyear (March through June). This permits a remarkably simple approach to mortality short-term forecasting.


Finding a method that can be easily understood by everyone and at the same time provides precise results has been extremely rewarding.

Silvia Rizzi
University of Southern Denmark

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Short-term forecasts of expected deaths, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2025324118.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page