Notes from Poland – Almost half a million people died in Poland in 2020 – the highest figure in any year since the end of the Second World War, and around 20% (or 80,000 deaths) above the recent annual average.
During the 52 weeks of 2020, there were 475,253 deaths in Poland, according to figures from the country’s digitisation ministry compiled and presented by BIQdata, a service run by the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
That represents a far higher figure than in any year since 1946, while it is also significantly above the average of just under 400,000 annual deaths recorded in recent times.
Poland has a larger overall population today than in the past. Yet even taking this into account, the figure of 12.4 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants in 2020 is still the highest since the war, note BIQdata.
The only other year that comes close is 1951, when there were 12.2 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. That year saw a large number of fatalities from diphtheria and whooping cough, as well as Poland’s first major polio epidemic.