Background-The actual human cost of the pandemic cannot be viewed through the COVID-19 mortality rates alone . Especially when the pandemic is widening the existing health disparities among different subpopulations within the same society . In Kuwait, migrant workers were already disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and its unintended consequences . Objective-To estimate the excess deaths in the pandemic year of 2020 among the Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaiti migrants . Methods-We analyzed publicly available retrospective data on total annual mortality historically (2005 to 2019) and in 2020 . We fitted a quasi-poisson generalized linear model adjusted for yearly trend and nationality to estimate the expected deaths in 2020 in the absence of the pandemic . We calculated excess deaths as the difference between observed and expected mortality for the year of the pandemic in both Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis . Results-In the absence of the pandemic, we expect the total mortality in Kuwait to be 6629 (95% CI : 6472 to 6789) deaths . However, the observed total mortality in 2020 was 9975 deaths; about 3346 (3186 to 3503) more deaths above the historical trend . Deaths among migrant workers would have been approximately 71.9% (67.8 to 76.0) lower in the absence of the pandemic . On the other hand, deaths among Kuwaitis would have been 32.4% (29.3 to 35.6) lower if the country had not had the pandemic . Conclusion-The mortality burden of the COVID-19 pandemic is substantially higher than what the official tally might suggest . Systematically disadvantaged migrant workers shouldered a larger burden of deaths in the pandemic year . Public health interventions must consider structural and societal determinants that give rise to the health disparities seen among migrant workers.