Health at a Glance: Europe 2022

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2022

The 2022 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe examines the key challenges European countries must address to develop stronger, more resilient health systems following the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a special focus on how the pandemic has affected young people’s mental and physical health. The report emphasises the need for additional measures to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from scarring a generation of young people. This edition of Health at a Glance: Europe also assesses the pandemic’s disruption of a wide range of health services for non-COVID patients, as well as the policy responses European countries deployed to minimise the adverse consequences of these disruptions. It also addresses a number of important behavioural and environmental risk factors that have a major impact on people’s health and mortality, highlighting the need to put a greater focus on the prevention of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.


Executive summary

The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on people’s lives in Europe and around the world. It has led to a reduction of more than one year in life expectancy in the EU in 2021 compared with the pre‑pandemic level – the largest drop observed in most EU countries since World War II. By the end of October 2022, more than 1.1 million COVID‑19 deaths had been reported across the 27 EU countries. This is however an under-estimation, with excess mortality statistics pointing to an additional 300 000 people dying as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic. Over 90% of COVID‑19 deaths have occurred among people over the age of 60. The mortality impact of COVID‑19 has been lowest in the Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Finland), and highest in Central and Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia and Romania).

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