This is an archived press release from 14 January 2022. It reflects the status at that time and is no longer updated here.    
Tables with weekly updated figures can be found on our website.

Press release: 12.710-008/22

More than 90 000 deaths in 2021; life expectancy remains below pre-pandemic level

Vienna, 2022-01-14 – According to first preliminary results by Statistics Austria, 90 054 deaths have been reported so far for 1 January to 31 December 2021. This number is 8.7% higher than the five-year average before the start of the Corona pandemic (2015–2019) and thus at a similar level as in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. However, the number of deaths reported for 2021 will increase in the upcoming weeks as registry offices are expected to report further deaths from the previous year. Moreover, the present figure does not yet include deaths of the Austrian population that occurred abroad.

Taking the increased population and changes in the age structure into account, slightly more deaths would have been expected in 2021 than in the years 2015 to 2019, even without the Corona pandemic. Within the framework of the main variant of the population projection prepared by Statistics Austria in autumn 2019 – i.e., before the start of the pandemic – a total of 85 217 deaths were forecast for 2021.

"In 2021, more people died in Austria than in the average of the last five years before the outbreak of the pandemic and also more than would have been expected due to the ageing of the population: as things stand, mortality in the second Corona year was 8.7% higher than the average for 2015 to 2019 and 5.7% higher than the number of deaths forecast before the Corona pandemic for 2021," says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

The available data also enables a first preliminary estimate of life expectancy in 2021. In the second year of the Corona pandemic, the average life expectancy for men was 78.8 years and 83.8 years for women. Compared to the previous year, there were only slight changes in life expectancy with a decrease for men (2020: 78.9 years), and an increase for women (2020: 83.7 years). For both sexes, life expectancy remains below the level before the start of the Corona pandemic (2019: 79.5 years for men and 84.2 years for women).

A look at the preliminary number of deaths by individual calendar weeks shows that in the last week of 2021 (calendar week 52 from 27 December 2021 to 2 January 2022), a total of 1 814 people died, which is similar to the number of deaths in the previous week (1 836 in calendar week 51 from 20 to 26 December 2021). Compared to the five-year average for the same calendar weeks of the years before the start of the Corona pandemic (2015–2019), 5% more people died in calendar week 52 of 2021 and 11% more in calendar week 51 of 2021. However, compared to the first year of the pandemic 2020, there were 15% (calendar week 52/2020: 2 123 deaths) and 19% (calendar week 51/2020: 2 255 deaths) fewer deaths in the same weeks of 2021.

Further information on deaths can be found on our website, where an interactive web application – the Atlas of Deaths – also graphically illustrates the development and regional distribution. Detailed results can be found in Statistics Austria's open data repository.

For more detailed information, please refer to the German version.