On May 4, 2020, ISTAT (Italian institute of Statistics) reported death counts for 4433 municipalities over Italy, in the periods January 1-April 15 2020 together with median values of deaths counts in the same municipalities for the same period in the years 2015-2019. The data for 2020 was collected with exceptional speed and only the municipalities that passed a quality control standard are included. This allows us to explore the possible exceptionality of 2020, during which there is a COVID epidemic.

We note that the data is limited in a number of ways. The 4433 municipalities represent only a fraction of the population in Italy (there are a total of 7904 across Italy, and the 4433 cover 57% of the Italian population), and differently distributed in the regions.

In the displays that will follow and that are based on data for the 4433 municipalities, whenever possible without decreasing readability, the transparency of colors is proportional to the proportion of population per region or per province that lives in municipalities not included in this subset (more intense colors correspond to better covered region). Another limitation is that the period up to April 15 includes only a portion of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the 2020 epidemic (even if this is a much larger portion than the one in the previously released dataset which included mortality up to March 21st)