In a typical year there are around 70,000 deaths in Switzerland. In 2020, there were 76,195 deaths, 12.4% more than the year before. The jump in deaths was due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), which published mortality data this week.
The two leading causes of death in Switzerland in 2020 were the non-communicable illnesses of cardiovascular disease (26.9%) and cancer (22.2%). In third place were deaths caused was the SARS-CoV-2 virus (12.2%).
The first COVID-19 death of a 72-year-old woman on 5 March 2020 was reported to the FSO in the canton of Vaud. During the first Covid-19 wave in March and April 2020 and the 2020 portion of the second wave from October 2020 to January 2021, 9,294 died from the virus. 8,982 of these deaths were among those aged 65 and above and 312 among those aged under 65. The Covid-19 deaths recorded in 2020 make up 68% of the official confirmed death toll of 13,617.
Switzerland lost fewer people per capita to Covid-19 than much of the rest of the world. According to the Economist Covid-19 excess death tracker, Switzerland has lost 0.19% of its population to the disease. Some nations such as Bulgaria (1.04%), Serbia (0.89%) and Russia (0.85%) have lost closer to 1% of their populations. Italy (0.37%), the US (0.36%), UK (0.25%) and Austria (0.24%) have all lost higher percentages of their populations to the virus than Switzerland. Although Germany (0.18%) and France (0.17%) have lost smaller percentages.