The agency doesn’t yet have full 2021 numbers, as death certificate data trickles in with a lag of one to eight weeks or more.
The increase was notable across the country and in no state was COVID reported in more than 60 percent of the excess deaths. Some states experienced much steeper hikes than others.
Nevada was the worst with a 65 percent prime-age mortality surge of which only 36 percent was attributed to COVID. Texas was second with a 61 percent jump of which 58 percent was attributed to COVID. Arizona and Tennessee recorded 57 percent increases with 37 percent and 33 percent attributed to COVID respectively. Not far behind was California at 55 percent and 42 percent attributed to COVID as well as New Mexico (52 percent, 33 percent), Florida (51 percent, 48 percent), and Louisiana (51 percent, 32 percent).
On the other side of the spectrum was New Hampshire with no mortality increase and no COVID deaths in this age group and Delaware with a 10 percent mortality increase, zero attributed to COVID. Massachusetts had only a 13 percent spike with 24 percent of it attributed to COVID and Maryland had a 16 percent jump, 42 percent attributed to COVID. Close behind were Connecticut, Hawaii, and New Jersey with 17 percent increases (23 percent, 45 percent, 58 percent attributed to COVID respectively).
CDC data on the exact causes of those excess deaths aren’t yet available for 2021, aside from those involving COVID, pneumonia, and influenza. There were close to 6,000 excess pneumonia deaths that didn’t involve COVID-19 in the 18–49 age group in the 12 months ending October 2021. Influenza was only involved in 50 deaths in this age group, down from 550 in the same period pre-pandemic. The flu death count didn't exclude those that also involved COVID or pneumonia, the CDC noted.
For those ages 50 to 84, mortality went up more than 27 percent, representing more than 470,000 excess deaths. Almost four out of five of the deaths had COVID marked on the death certificate as the cause or a contributing factor.
For those 85 or older, mortality increased about 12 percent with more than 100,000 excess deaths. With more than 130,000 COVID-related deaths in this group, the data indicates that these seniors were less likely to die of a non-COVID-related cause from November 2020 to October 2021 than during the same period of 2018–2019.
Comparing 2020 to 2019, mortality increased some 24 percent for those 18–49, with less than a third of those excess deaths involving COVID. For those 50–84, it increased less than 20 percent, with over 70 percent of that involving COVID. For those even older, mortality jumped about 16 percent, with nearly 90 percent of that involving COVID.
For those under 18, mortality decreased about 0.4 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. In the 12 months ending October 2021, it fell some 3.3 percent compared to the same period in 2018–2019.