Journal Article

The short-term mortality fluctuation data series, monitoring mortality shocks across time and space

Scientific Data, 8:235, 1–8 (2021)
Open Access


The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed substantial coverage and quality gaps in existing international and national statistical monitoring systems. It is striking that obtaining timely, accurate, and comparable across countries data in order to adequately respond to unexpected epidemiological threats is very challenging. The most robust and reliable approach to quantify the mortality burden due to short-term risk factors is based on estimating weekly excess deaths. This approach is more reliable than monitoring deaths with COVID-19 diagnosis or calculating incidence or fatality rates afected by numerous problems such as testing coverage and comparability of diagnostic approaches. In response to the emerging data challenges, a new data resource on weekly mortality has been established. The Short-term Mortality Fluctuations (STMF, available at data series is the frst international database providing open-access harmonized, uniform, and fully documented data on weekly all-cause mortality. The STMF online vizualisation tool provides an opportunity to perform a quick assessment of the excess weekly mortality in one or several countries by means of an interactive graphical interface.

Keywords: World, data analysis, excess mortality
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.