Victoria is the biggest loser, modelling shrinks excess death rate by up to a third.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released an update this week, ‘Measuring Australia’s excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic until the first quarter 2023’.
Excess mortality for the country as a whole is still high (9.1%) but is trending down overall. The ABS appears to have revised down its excess death statistics for 2022 and first quarter 2023, which I’ll address further down below.
First take: Victoria, the most locked-down, curfewed, police-statey region in the world has the second-highest excess death rate in the country.
Victoria, the second most populous state in the country (6.8 million), is faring much worse than its neighbour, NSW (8.2 million), which had less aggressive lockdowns and restrictions. Maximum police state for minimum gain makes Victoria Australia’s biggest loser.
Credit to Professor Peter Collignon, infectious diseases physician and microbiologist, for pointing this out on Twitter.
Victoria clocked in at 13.2% above expected deaths for 2022 and 12% for the first quarter of 2023. Tasmania had the worst excess death rate in the country, hitting a shocking 17.3% excess deaths in the first quarter of 2023.
Second take: Western Australia (WA) has the lowest excess death rate in the country. But does it actually?
WA excess deaths are half that of Victoria’s, at 6.2% in 2022 and 6.1% for the first quarter of 2023. Given the very high rates of adverse event reporting following the Covid vaccine rollout in 2021, I am genuinely surprised by this. Also, as a vocal critic of our previous Premier, Mark McGowan’s extreme pandemic measures, I chafe at the thought of this being used to justify his abusive policies. But the figures are the figures. Except, the Actuaries Institute comes up with different figures…
In their most recent report breaking the figures down state-by-state for 2020-2022, the Actuaries’ data shows an upturn in excess mortality in WA in 2021 (4%), when there was almost no Covid, but lots of reported vaccine injuries. By 2022, WA has caught up, with excess deaths at 11%.
It’s such a horribly blurry image that I’ve replicated the Actuaries’ figures below in blue, overlaid on the ABS chart.
The Actuaries Institute is due to publish a state-by-state analysis of the first quarter 2023 data next month, so we will be able to see if their figures remain higher than the ABS, and hopefully see an explanation as to why.
Infographic: Excess deaths during Omicron (Jan 2022 – March 2023)
Excess death statistics revised down by ABS based on new modelling
When the ABS first released the Jan-Mar 2023 excess deaths figures, they pegged excess deaths at 11.8%. In today’s release, they’re saying first quarter excess deaths are at 9.1%.
Similarly, the ABS charts released today show excess mortality for 2022 at 10.9%, which is lower by about a third than the previous provisional release, which had 2022 excess deaths sitting at 15.3% above average. The Actuaries Institute, which uses different methods to assess the excess death data, calculated 12% excess deaths for Australia in 2022.
From today’s release,
“Expected mortality in this article is modelled as being in the absence of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The analysis of 2020-2023 mortality data is based on a model developed by Serfling and later adapted by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and New South Wales Health (NSW Health).”
So, it appears that the ABS has adopted modelling which has resulted in the excess mortality statistics being revised down.
There’s a lot more detail on the choice of mortality measure and methodology here.
Can savvy readers offer further insights in the comments?
The most important takeaways, friends, are that any excess deaths are Covid’s fault, and the vaccines are working.
Rebekah Barnett reports from Western Australia. She holds a BA Comms from the University of Western Australia and volunteers for Jab Injuries Australia. When it comes to a new generation of journalists born out of this difficult time in our history, she is one of the brightest stars in the firmament. You can follow her work and support Australian independent journalism with a paid subscription or one off donation via her Substack page Dystopian Down Under.
The indefatigable Senator Gerard Rennick joined John Campbell to discuss Australian excess deaths and the WA vaccine safety data in a new video, released just yesterday. The conversation is wide-ranging, covering excess death data (not including the above, which was not released until today), vaccine injury, and the bureaucratic response or lack thereof. Click below to watch (32 mins).