The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll around the world. Since January 2020, the World Health Organization estimates 14.9 million excess deaths have occurred globally. Despite this grim number quantifying the deadly impact, the underlying factors contributing to COVID-19 deaths at the population level remain unclear. Prior studies indicate that demographic factors like proportion of population older than 65 and population health explain the cross-country difference in COVID-19 deaths. However, there has not been a comprehensive analysis including variables describing government policies and COVID-19 vaccination rate. Furthermore, prior studies focus on COVID-19 death rather than excess death to assess the impact of the pandemic. Through a robust statistical modeling framework, we analyze 80 countries and show that actionable public health efforts beyond just the factors intrinsic to each country are important for explaining the cross-country heterogeneity in excess death.

Our work on COVID-19 excess death and public health factors has been published in Nature Scientific Reports: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-43407-0.