Why did so many Australians die in 2022?

The Excess Deaths Project

On March 31st 2023, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that there were 15.3% more deaths than normal in 2022. (If you have come to this website after seeing a graph or flyer giving a figure of 16% or 15.1% excess deaths in 2022, these figures were from earlier ABS releases.)

This is what the March release said:

“In 2022, there were 190,394 deaths that occurred by 31 December and were registered by 28 February 2023, which is 25,235 (15.3%) more than the historical average.”

Is it unusual to have 15.3% more deaths than average?

Here’s a graph showing the excess rate of deaths (more than the average of the past five years) from 1955 to 2021. (Detailed information about the graph can be found in notes at the end of this article).

Before the highly anomalous year of 2022, the highest annual increase in deaths per population was 4.3%, which occurred in 1964. On average, over the 67-year period, there was an annual 1.6% decrease in the death rate.

With a toll of 25,235 more Australians than expected dying in the 2022, we owe it to them and to their families to ask questions.

Perhaps these extra deaths have been due to covid, some may suggest?

Well, the same report states that only 10,095 of all deaths were due to covid. So, taking these figures at face value, and even assuming that every covid death can be counted as an excess death (which is unlikely),  that means at most two fifths of the 25,235 excess deaths were due to the virus. In other words, at least three fifths of the excess deaths were caused by something else.

Of course, we must also not simply assume that the 10,095 covid deaths in 2022 were inevitable.

Remembering that we were told that the covid injections would protect us from severe illness and death, we need to know more about these deaths.

Where is the data reporting how many vaccinated Australians died from covid? We need to see the evidence that the vaccinations prevent death. People considering having further injections need this information to make an informed decision.

In addition, what is clear from the ABS data for 2022 is that, over and above the deaths from covid, 15,140 more Australians died than usual.

That’s the equivalent of an Australian Airbus 330-300 crashing almost every week (50 crashes in the year).

And the total excess deaths of 25,235 equates to a crash every four to five days.

Why did these people die? This question needs to be answered urgently.

If the cause was plane crashes, none of us would be catching a flight.

But the cause(s) have not yet been examined. Few people are even aware that there are so many more deaths than usual. This means we are living (and sadly, some of us are dying) as if blindfolded, simply accepting that it’s OK not to know.

It’s not OK!

In 2020, any death from Covid was headline news.

In that entire year, 906 people were reported by the ABS as dying of the disease. But now our latest statistical information suggests that more than that number of Australians may be dying every three weeks, without proper explanation.

Where is the headline news on that?

Australians deserve answers.

The excess death rate equates to a 300-seat passenger airliner crashing every four days.

Clarity on Health is proud to be a collaborator with www.excessdeathstats.com, a campaign to increase awareness about excess deaths worldwide.

Notes for graph:

The blue line up to 2021 shows the percentage excess death rate compared with the average death rate over the preceding five years.

If the blue line is above zero it means the death rate was higher in that year than the average of the previous five years. Conversely, when the blue line goes below zero it means the death rate in a given year was lower than the average over the preceding five years.

The death rates used to calculate the blue line are ‘crude death rates’. This is the number of deaths in the year divided by the population in that year. (Using deaths per population helps allow for increases or decreases in the number of deaths which are simply due to changes in the size of the population.)

To calculate the excess death rate in any year the death rate in that year is compared with the average of the death rates for the five preceding years (the ‘baseline comparator’). Because we expect death rates to have been abnormal during the covid pandemic, we have not included pandemic years (2020-2022) in our baseline comparators. Hence, we have compared death rates in a pandemic year such as 2022 with the average of death rates in the five years from 2015-2019 – a period that can be regarded as ‘normal’.

The blue line to 2020 has been calculated from crude death rates (deaths per 100,000 population) from Table S5.1 of the Excel spreadsheet ‘AIHW deaths-web-report-suppl-tables_1’ published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (updated 9th June 2022). The data point for 2021 is calculated from the crude death rate (6.7 deaths per 1,000 population) in the ABS report, ‘Deaths Australia’, released on 29th September 2022.

For 2022, the data point in red is the figure of 15.3% excess deaths released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the Provisional Mortality Statistics released on 31st March 2023. Note, this figure compares number of deaths recorded in 2022 with the number of deaths averaged over four years (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021). The ABS says: “2020 is not included in the baseline for 2022 data because it included periods where numbers of deaths were significantly lower than expected.” It follows that, if 2020 had been included in the baseline comparator (which normally comprises the average of the past five years), the percentage of excess deaths would have been even higher.

Note that the ABS figure for 2022 is 15.3% excess deaths, not a 15.3% excess crude death rate. Hence the red part of the graph will include some extra deaths that are simply due to an increase in population. Based on a population figure of 25,978,935 for June 30th 2022 released by the ABS (National, State and Territory Population), we estimate that the excess crude mortality rate in 2022 will be 12.4%, which remains a figure unprecedented in the past 67 years.

Data sources:

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/provisional-mortality-statistics/jan-dec-2022 (Accessed 9th June 2023)

https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/covid-19-mortality-australia-deaths-registered-until-30-april-2023 (Accessed 9th June 2023)

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/data (Accessed 30th May 2023)

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/deaths-australia/latest-release (Accessed 9th June 2023)

https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/national-state-and-territory-population/jun-2022 (Accessed 9th June 2023)

*Thank you to Dr Ah Kahn Syed of Arkmedic’s blog for the idea of making the numbers meaningful by thinking in terms of plane crashes.