The COVID-19 Pandemic and its Effects on Swedish Mortality
Abstract: This thesis analyses the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on Swedish mortality during 2020 by investigating whether it has resulted in excess mortality. This is done using a stochastic mortality projection model from the Lee-Carter framework and by assuming the number of deaths follows a Poisson distribution. Due to the few confirmed COVID-19 deaths at younger ages, the decision is made to only include 50-to-100-year-olds in the analysis. Models in the Lee-Carter framework are fitted on historical data from 1993–2019 collected from Human Mortality Database and Statistiska Centralbyrån. After evaluating the models, inter alia using residual analysis and backtesting, we ascertain that the classical Lee-Carter model accomplishes a wanted level of fit and forecast accuracy. During the morality projection with the Lee-Carter model, three different sources of uncertainty are accounted for by constructing prediction intervals using bootstrap. The results show that the large age group 67–94-year-olds have suffered from statistically significant excess mortality during 2020. The level of excess mortality differs between ages, with the ages 70–90-year-olds having the highest number of excess deaths. Comparing the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths to our forecasted number of excess deaths indicates the COVID-19 virus likely caused the surge in deaths.
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