Press Mortality figures in July 2022 12% above the median of previous years

Press release No. 343 of 9 August 2022

WIESBADEN – 85,285 people died in Germany in July 2022, according to extrapolated figures of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). This is 12%, or 9,130 cases, above the median of the years 2018 to 2021 for that month. As in June, mortality figures were particularly high in periods of very high temperatures. In Weeks 28 to 30 (11 to 31 July), death figures were markedly higher than the comparative figures (+16%, +24% and +14%, respectively). As observed in previous years, a well-known effect is that death figures rise along with heat waves. This year, the effect was already recorded in an unusually large number of weeks up to the end of July.


Mortality figures 2022 for Germany by month




Mortality figures
Difference from
median 2018-2021
Relative difference from ...
median 2018-20212018201920202021
As at: 8 August 2022

Slightly increasing Covid-19 death figures in July

At present, comparisons of total deaths with the number of Covid-19 deaths reported to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) by date of death can be made up to Week 28 of 2022 (11 to 17 July). So far, 508 Covid-19 deaths have been reported to the RKI with a date of death in that week. In Week 28, total deaths were 16%, or 2,525 cases, above the median of the four preceding years. While the Covid-19 figures declined from the beginning of April to the middle of June (down to 246 cases in Week 22), they have increased slightly since then. However, they can only account for a small proportion of the higher death figures in that period.


Excess mortality in many European countries

The The EuroMOMO network for mortality monitoring compares findings about excess mortality across Europe based on its own extrapolation from incomplete data and using its own excess mortality approach. According to current results, high or very high excess mortality was recorded for Germany, Portugal, France and Spain in at least one week of July. In Germany's neighbouring countries Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria, low or moderate excess mortality was observed in at least one week of the same period.

Methodological notes on the mortality figures for Germany:

The 2022 ad hoc evaluation is based on first provisional data (raw data). These are merely counts of the cases of death reported by the registrar's offices; the usual data plausibility and completeness checks have not been carried out. The data are still incomplete due to legal regulations concerning the reporting of deaths to the registrar’s offices and differences in the routines of registrar’s offices submitting data for official statistics.

The Federal Statistical Office has developed an estimation model for the extrapolation from incomplete data because of the high relevance of timely mortality figures during the Covid-19 pandemic. This model allows nationwide mortality figures to be provided after approximately one week. The mortality figures of the last nine weeks are extrapolated using the figures submitted so far by the registrar’s offices. Later figures can be slightly higher or lower as a result. The estimate is based on the patterns observed in past reporting delays, some of which differ considerably between regions. It therefore takes roughly four weeks until comparable results for the Länder are available. The ad hoc evaluation is updated every week on the “Deaths, life expectancy” page. New results are released every Tuesday.

Periods of excess mortality within a particular year can be identified on the basis of the provisional death figures. This reveals direct and indirect effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on death figures at an early stage. Here we compare the figures with the median of several previous years to account for the varying impact of recurring seasonal effects (such as flu or heat waves). This intra-annual comparison cannot account for the impact of the rising life expectancy and the increasing proportion of older people on the expected number of deaths.

The median has been used for the comparison with previous years since reference month July 2021. The advantage of using this comparative value instead of the arithmetic mean is that it is less prone to specific one-off developments and outliers, such as very strong flu waves or the Covid-19 waves since the beginning of the pandemic. Using the median allows a more accurate evaluation to be made of current death figures. The lowest and highest death figures from the four previous years are not included in the calculation of the median value. It is therefore possible that other comparative values are used for the weekly analysis than for the monthly analysis. In addition, calendar months do not represent the sum of calendar weeks. These are the reasons why the weekly death figures may not sum up to the monthly figures and why they may show different degrees of deviation from the median of the previous years. Press release No 373 of 10 August 2021 contains more information on how the median is calculated and used.

From March 2020, the figures should only be interpreted in the light of the measures taken to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to preventing Covid-19 deaths, these measures and changes in behaviour may have contributed to reducing the number of deaths from other infectious diseases such as flu. This also has an impact on the comparison with previous years. The results of the 2020 causes of death statistics suggest that this was the case. Decreases or increases in the number of deaths from other causes may also have an effect on total deaths. The mortality figures, however, contain no information on the incidence of individual causes of death.

To give the final evaluation of the mortality development, the number of deaths is then put in relation to the actual population in order to consider the ageing process of the population, for instance. The final results which are required for this, including all late reports of deaths, are usually available in the middle of the subsequent year. Information on the relevant results for the time of the pandemic is given in press release No 313 of 26 July 2022.

The provisional mortality figures relate to the date of death, not the date on which a death was registered. So far, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has published the reported Covid-19 deaths by death date until Week 28 of 2022. Accordingly, these can currently be compared with the provisional total death figures up to that week. This does not include cases for which no information on the date of death was reported, or for which the information was implausible. The results have not been corrected yet for late reports and are expected to increase as a consequence. Further background information on these data can be found on the RKI website.

More information:

A graphical overview of the development of mortality figures in all Länder is available on a special page of the Federal Statistical Office’s website.

The Federal Statistical Office provides more information on the ad hoc evaluation of mortality figures on its “Deaths, life expectancy” page and its “Corona statistics” webpage.

We discuss the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for population projections also in our “StatGespräch“ podcast on age structure. There we shed some light on the role which life expectancy plays for the population development in Germany.

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