England vs Sweden Excess Deaths
A simple comparison of excess deaths between Sweden and England in the context of COVID response.
Keeping it simple so that even the folks at the ONS might understand it as I hear they are still really struggling to make sense of England mortality data (sense that fits the agenda they have been given at any rate).
Normalised excess deaths as a function of summer low of prior years:
According to the data between Jan and Mar 2020, this simple relative proxy is decent enough. Thereafter, it is clear that England’s “pandemic” response has been somewhat more erratic than Sweden’s.
In an effort to avoid stress on healthcare systems and minimise deaths, it is evident that Sweden adopted better policies both in spring 2020 and winter 2021.
Since then, there is once again, very little between the deaths distribution as further confirmation that these two countries are reasonable comparisons and that the simple excess deaths model is reasonable too.
Looking at the cumulative series, it is even clearer how well matched these two countries are in the three months leading up to the COVID era.
Similarly, the seasonal matches are also apparent, albeit with England “outperforming” Sweden at every step of the way, finishing with 20% more relative excess deaths.
Happy to hear from all the Sweden-bashers who kept telling me how wrong I was to point this out back in late spring 2020 with an explanation how this outcome could possibly be. Bonus points for proving that Denmark, Norway and Finland are better comparisons…