Expected Death Analysis

Covid-19 is causing a higher death rate than normal. There has been some controversy as to whether covid-19 was the cause of death, even if it was present in the deceased. To avoid this controversy, it's possible to just look at the number of deaths in a particular week and compare it with the number the same week over the past few years. The graph below uses data from the CDC ( JSON). In particular, the week of reported deaths and the percentage of expected deaths columns are used. The percent of expected deaths compares the death count in the particular week to the average for that week in 2017 throgh 2019. As can be seen in the data through March 14, this number is pretty stable. However, after March 14, we see the percentage of expected deaths increase dramatically. Towards the end of the dataset, the percentage of expected deaths is very low. This is because the CDC records the actual date of the death, but may not receive that report for several weeks. Their analysis of 2015 through 2016 data showed that less than 25% of the deaths were reported within the first few weeks. At least 75% of the deaths are reported within 8 weeks. In an attempt to get more current data, a "correction factor" has been developed based on how the percent expected deaths increases after the week of death as more reports are received. Data on report delays has been gathered starting June 15, 2020. This data is here. Based on this data, a predicted percentage of expected deaths is determined immediately following the week of death. As the CDC updates their numbers (every weekday), the correction factors are updated and the predicted percentage of expected deaths is updated.

Blue line is percentage of expected deaths this week as reported by the CDC. Red line is the predicted percentage of expected deaths based on reports received from the CDC so far and corrected based on typical reporting delay. Orange line is the accumulated percentage of expected deaths based on data received from the CDC so far.

Average Age at Time of Death

I have not yet found a source for this data on a weekly basis. It would be interesting to see how this varies over time. There may be some seasonal variation. How much? There is likely to be an overall decrease in the average age at time of death due to covid-19, but how much of a decrease?

Comments to harold@hallikainen.org