Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: 24 September 2021

Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19), in the latest weeks for which data are available.

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Cyswllt:
Email Sarah Caul

Dyddiad y datganiad:
5 October 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
12 October 2021

1. Main points

  • In Week 38, 10,684 deaths were registered in England and Wales; this was 325 fewer deaths than the previous week (Week 37) and 15.3% above the five-year average (1,420 more deaths).
  • The number of deaths registered in England in the week ending 24 September 2021 (Week 38) was 9,957; this was 365 fewer deaths than the previous week (Week 37) and 14.9% above the five-year average (1,294 more deaths).
  • The number of deaths registered in Wales in the week ending 24 September 2021 (Week 38) was 711; this was 43 more deaths than the previous week (Week 37) and 23.7% above the five-year average (136 more deaths).
  • Of the deaths registered in Week 38 in England and Wales, 888 mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)", accounting for 8.3% of all deaths; this was an increase compared with Week 37 (851 deaths).
  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England increased to 799 in Week 38, compared with 783 in Week 37; for Wales, deaths involving COVID-19 increased to 88 in Week 38, compared with 66 in Week 37.
  • The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 24 September 2021 was 12,247, which was 1,688 more than the five-year average; of deaths registered in the UK in Week 38, 1,108 involved COVID-19, which is 59 more than in Week 37.
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2. Deaths registered by week

Figure 1: The number of deaths registered in Week 38 was above the five-year average in England and in Wales

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 24 September 2021

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Notes:
  1. Figures exclude deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.
  4. The number of deaths registered in a week are affected when bank holidays occur.
  5. The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
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The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales decreased from 11,009 in Week 37 (week ending 17 September 2021) to 10,684 in Week 38 (week ending 24 September 2021). The number of deaths was 15.3% above the five-year average (1,420 more deaths) in England and Wales.

In England, the number of deaths decreased from 10,322 in Week 37 to 9,957 in Week 38, which was 1,294 more deaths (14.9% higher) than the Week 38 five-year average (Figure 1). Of these deaths in Week 38, 799 involved coronavirus (COVID-19), which is a 2.0% increase compared with Week 37 (783 deaths). Of all deaths registered in Week 38 in England, 8.0% mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate.

In Week 38 (week ending 24 September 2021), the total number of deaths registered decreased in six of the nine English regions, compared with Week 37 (week ending 17 September 2021). The largest decrease was reported in the North West (106 fewer deaths).

The numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in five of the nine English regions in Week 38. The largest decrease was reported in the South East (20 fewer deaths). More information can be found in the Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales dataset, and a more detailed geographical analysis can be found in our Monthly mortality analysis bulletin.

In Wales, the number of deaths increased from 668 in Week 37 to 711 in Week 38, which was 136 more deaths than the five-year average for Week 38 (Figure 1). Of these, 88 deaths involved COVID-19 in Week 38, compared with 66 in Week 37. Of all deaths registered in Week 38 in Wales, 12.4% mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate.

Figure 2: Total deaths from all causes were above the five-year average in Week 38

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 24 September 2021

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Notes:
  1. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.
  4. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) definitions are available in the Measuring the data section.
  5. The number of deaths registered in a week are affected when bank holidays occur.
  6. The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
Download this chart

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Analysis in this section includes deaths from Week 11 of 2020 (week ending 13 March 2020, the week of the first registration of a death involving COVID-19) through to Week 38 of 2021 (week ending 24 September 2021). This is to ensure full coverage of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Using the most up-to-date data we have available, the number of deaths from the week ending 13 March 2020 up to 24 September 2021 was 923,743 in England and Wales. Of these, 147,741 (16.0%) mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate. During this period, the number of excess deaths above the five-year average was 116,114.

In England, the number of deaths between the weeks ending 13 March 2020 and 24 September 2021 was 866,170; of these, 139,258 deaths (16.1%) mentioned COVID-19. This was 111,614 deaths above the five-year average.

In Wales, the number of deaths for the same period was 56,409; of these, 8,268 deaths (14.7%) mentioned COVID-19. This was 8,268 deaths above the five-year average.

More about coronavirus

Figure 3: Deaths in Week 38 were above the five-year average in private homes, hospitals and care homes, but below the five-year average in other settings

Number of excess deaths by place of occurrence, England and Wales, registered between 7 March 2020 and 24 September 2021

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Notes:
  1. Based on area of usual residence. Geographical boundaries and communal establishments are based on the most up-to-date information available.
  2. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  3. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  4. All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.
  5. "Other" includes deaths in communal establishments other than hospitals and care homes, in hospices, and that occurred "elsewhere". More information on the place of death definitions used is available in the Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales dataset.
  6. The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
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In Week 38, the number of deaths in private homes was 37.3% above the five-year average (840 excess deaths) and deaths in hospitals were 12.8% above the five-year average (543 excess deaths). Deaths in care homes were 4.2% above the five-year average (83 excess deaths) and deaths in other settings were 5.7% below the five-year average (45 fewer deaths).

In addition, more detailed analysis of excess deaths in England is produced by Public Health England (PHE) on a weekly basis.

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3. Deaths registered in the UK

Figure 4: Deaths involving COVID-19 increased in the UK in Week 38

Number of deaths registered by week, UK, week ending 8 January 2021 to week ending 24 September 2021

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Notes:
  1. Figures include deaths of non-residents that were registered in each country.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2021 are provisional.
  4. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) definitions are available in the Measuring the data section.
  5. National Records of Scotland produces figures for Scotland with an updated back series. We update the back series until the end of the calendar year, therefore the UK total in 2021 may differ from previous weeks in 2021.
  6. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency produces figures for Northern Ireland.
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Across the UK, there were 12,247 deaths (all causes) registered in Week 38 (week ending 24 September 2021). This was 1,688 more deaths than the UK five-year average and 395 fewer deaths than in Week 37 (week ending 17 September 2021).

Deaths were above the five-year average in England (1,294 more deaths), Scotland (205 more deaths), Wales (136 more deaths), and Northern Ireland (63 more deaths). Of all deaths in the UK in Week 38, 1,108 involved coronavirus (COVID-19), 59 more deaths than in Week 37, which is a 5.6% increase.

In Week 38, Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 at 15.7% (55 deaths), followed by Scotland at 13.6% (165 deaths), Wales at 12.4% (88 deaths) and England at 8.0% (799 deaths).

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4. Deaths data

Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
Dataset | Released 5 October 2021
Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available. Includes data on coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths.

Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and health board
Dataset | Released 5 October 2021
Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving COVID-19, by local authority, health board and place of death in the latest weeks for which data are available.

Number of deaths in care homes notified to the Care Quality Commission, England
Dataset | Released 5 October 2021
Provisional counts of deaths in care homes caused by COVID-19 by local authority. Published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Care home resident deaths registered in England and Wales, provisional
Dataset | Released 5 October 2021
Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered of care home residents in England and Wales, by region. Includes data on coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths. Data are weekly and provisional.

Try the new way to filter and download these data:

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5. Glossary

Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths

Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths are those deaths registered in England and Wales in the stated week where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. A doctor can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings - a positive test result is not required. Definitions of COVID-19 for deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland are similar to England and Wales.

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6. Measuring the data

To meet user needs, we publish very timely but provisional counts of death registrations in England and Wales in our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional dataset. These are presented:

  • by sex
  • by age group
  • for regions (within England)
  • for Wales as a whole

To allow time for registration and processing, figures are published 11 days after the week ends. Because of the rapidly changing situation, we also provide provisional updated totals for death occurrences based on the latest available death registrations, up to 2 October 2021.

Coronavirus

This weekly release now provides a separate breakdown of the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19); that is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions.

If a death certificate mentions COVID-19, it will not always be the main cause of death but may be a contributory factor. This bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic.

Data coverage

The data for 2020 are based on a 53-week year. Because the number of days in a week is seven, when there are 52 weeks, we only cover 364 days of the 365 days in the year, which results in one remaining day each calendar year not included in the 52 weeks. With the occurrence of leap years, it is sometimes necessary to add a 53rd week to the end of the calendar, which was the case in 2020. This happens every five years - the last time there was a Week 53 was in 2015. Given the low frequency of Week 53, it is more appropriate to compare the 2020 figures with the average for Week 52 than to compare it with a single year from five years previous. View more detail on the data coverage for the weekly deaths bulletin in our Coronavirus and mortality in England and Wales methodology.

Influenza and pneumonia has been included for comparison in the Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales dataset as a well-understood cause of death involving respiratory infection that is likely to have somewhat similar risk factors to COVID-19.

Registration delays

This bulletin is based mainly on the date deaths are registered, not the date of death, because of the time taken for a death to be registered. Deaths in England and Wales are normally registered within five days, but there can be a considerably longer delay in some circumstances, particularly when the death is referred to a coroner. More information on this issue can be found in our Impact of registration delays article.

We have developed a statistical model to estimate the number of deaths likely to have occurred in each week based on previous experience of the pattern of registration delays, including the effects of bank holidays. You can find out more about this statistical model in our Predicting total weekly death occurrences in England and Wales methodology. Results are shown in the "Estimated total deaths 2021" tab of the Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales dataset.

Classification codes

From the week ending 26 February 2021 (Week 8), new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes for COVID-19 issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) were implemented for deaths involving COVID-19. View more detail about the additional classification codes for COVID-19 in the Coronavirus and mortality in England and Wales methodology.

We will publish accompanying articles periodically, giving enhanced information such as age-standardised and age-specific mortality rates for recent time periods and breakdowns of deaths involving COVID-19 by associated pre-existing health conditions.

Our User guide to mortality statistics provides further information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to mortality and includes a glossary of terms.

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7. Strengths and limitations

Comparability

These weekly figures are for England and Wales only (as this is the Office for National Statistics' (ONS') legal remit). They are from the formal death registration process and may include cases where the doctor completing the death certificate diagnosed possible cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), for example, where this was based on relevant symptoms, but no test was conducted. The ONS figures are different from the daily surveillance figures on COVID-19 deaths published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on GOV.UK, which are for the UK as a whole and its constituent countries.

From 29 April 2020, the DHSC published improved data for England from Public Health England (PHE) to include a count of all deaths, regardless of location, where a positive COVID-19 test was confirmed. Previously, only confirmed COVID-19 deaths in hospitals were reported. This improved the comparability with figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where deaths outside of hospitals were already being included, and ensured that the UK-wide series had a shared and common definitional coverage. View the ONS statement regarding different uses of figures on deaths related to COVID-19 for more detail on these data changes.

On 12 August 2020, the PHE data series was revised to include deaths of positively tested individuals where the death occurred within 28 days, and deaths within 60 days of a positive test. The Public Health England technical summary (PDF, 854KB) provides more detail on these changes.

View more detail on the differences in definitions of COVID-19 deaths between sources and differences in definitions of COVID-19 deaths in care homes in the Coronavirus and mortality in England and Wales methodology.

Quality

More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Mortality statistics in England and Wales QMI.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Sarah Caul
health.data@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 1329 444110