The Pandemic’s Effect on the Widening Gap in Mortality Rate between the U.S. and Peer Countries

A new KFF brief looks at where COVID-19 falls as a leading cause of death in the U.S. compared to similarly large and wealthy countries. The analysis finds that COVID-19 mortality rates are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., a ranking shared by only one peer country, Belgium. In several other peer countries, including Australia and Germany, COVID-19 is not close to breaking into the top 10 leading causes of death.

The brief also addresses high per capita excess deaths in the U.S. – the number of deaths exceeding what is expected in a typical year.

The analysis is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.