Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 29 May 2020

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

This is not the latest release. View latest release

9 June 2020 10:33

The data for the previous week (week ending 22 May 2020) were accidentally included in Table 1. These data have now been updated with the correct data for this week. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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This is an accredited national statistic.

Cyswllt:
Email Sarah Caul

Dyddiad y datganiad:
9 June 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
16 June 2020

2. Main points

  • The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 29 May 2020 (Week 22) was 9,824; this was 2,464 fewer than in Week 21 but 20.2% (1,653 deaths) higher than the five-year average.

  • Of the deaths registered in Week 22, 1,822 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last eight weeks; this accounts for 18.5% of all deaths and is 767 deaths fewer than in Week 21.

  • People aged 90 years and over continued to have the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Week 22.

  • In Week 22, the proportion of deaths occurring in care homes decreased to 25.5% while deaths involving COVID-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes decreased to 28.2%.

  • In Week 22, the number of deaths in care homes was 819 higher than the five-year average, while in hospitals the number of deaths was 30 fewer than the five-year average; the total number of excess deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease.

  • The percentage of deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease or remain similar across all English regions; the North West had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Week 22 (282 deaths).

  • In Wales, there were 105 deaths registered in Week 22 involving COVID-19, accounting for 17.9% of all deaths registered in Wales.

  • Of all deaths involving COVID-19 registered up to Week 22, 63.9% occurred in hospital with the remainder mainly occurring in care homes (29.4%), private homes (4.5%) and hospices (1.3%).

  • The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 29 May 2020 (Week 22) was 11,256, of which 2,000 deaths involved COVID-19.

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Week 22 included the late May Bank Holiday (Monday 25 May 2020) so differences between Week 21 and Week 22 should be interpreted with caution.

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3. Deaths registered by week

Figure 1: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 29 May 2020

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The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales decreased from 12,288 in Week 21 (week ending 22 May 2020) to 9,824 in Week 22 (week ending 29 May 2020). This was 1,653 more deaths than the five-year average (Figure 1). More information is in Measuring the data.

The number of deaths was around or below the five-year average up to Week 12. The number of deaths increased between Weeks 13 and 16 before decreasing between Weeks 17 and 22, with the exception of Week 20 where the deaths increased.

The number of death registrations in Week 20 was impacted by the early May Bank Holiday, which took place on Friday 8 May 2020 (in Week 19). The number of deaths registered on the early May Bank Holiday fell to 88 deaths compared with 2,950 deaths registered on the previous Friday (Friday 1 May 2020). Trends seen in Week 19 and Week 20 should therefore be interpreted with caution, as deaths not registered on the early May Bank Holiday were likely registered in the following week (Week 20). Week 22 also included the late May Bank Holiday but as this was on a Monday, we have seen less of an effect on death registrations.

The number of death registrations involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased from 2,589 in Week 21 to 1,822 in Week 22. Of all deaths registered in Week 22, 18.5% mentioned COVID-19; this is down from 21.1% in Week 21.

Similar patterns can be seen for England and Wales separately, with the number of deaths in England decreasing from 11,586 in Week 21 to 9,228 in Week 22, which was 1,621 deaths higher than the Week 22 average. Of the Week 22 deaths, 18.6% (1,715 deaths) involved COVID-19 in England.

In Wales, the number of deaths decreased from 692 deaths in Week 21 to 587 deaths in Week 22, 41 deaths higher than the Week 22 average. Of these Week 22 deaths, 17.9% (105 deaths) involved COVID-19 in Wales.

The number of deaths mentioning “Influenza and Pneumonia” on the death certificate (without COVID-19) decreased from 1,066 in Week 21 to 911 in Week 22 and remained below the five-year average. The number of deaths that mentioned both “Influenza and Pneumonia” and COVID-19 on the death certificate also decreased to 700, compared with 910 deaths in Week 21.

In Week 22, 27.8% of all deaths mentioned “Influenza and Pneumonia”, COVID-19, or both compared with 29.7% in Week 21. “Influenza and Pneumonia” has been included for comparison, as a well-understood cause of death involving respiratory infection that is likely to have somewhat similar risk factors to COVID-19.

More about coronavirus

  • Find the latest on coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
  • All ONS analysis, summarised in our coronavirus roundup.
  • View all coronavirus data.
  • Find out how we are working safely in our studies and surveys.

  • Figure 2: The number of excess deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease

    Year-to-date analysis for deaths registered in England and Wales, 2020

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    As COVID-19 was not a cause of death prior to 2020, any deaths involving COVID-19 appear in the counts above the five-year average and are counted as excess deaths. This means that when the number of deaths involving COVID-19 is higher than the number of excess deaths, the bar indicating deaths not involving COVID-19 makes a negative contribution.

    Between Weeks 1 and 12, 138,916 deaths were registered, which was 4,822 fewer than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 22, 157,687 deaths were registered, which was 57,961 more than the five-year average. Week 22 showed a continuation of the decreasing trend in excess deaths (both involving COVID-19 and involving other causes) (Figure 2). Detailed analysis on non-COVID-19-related deaths is available in Analysis of death registrations not involving coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 29 May 2020 was 296,582, which is 53,118 more than the five-year average. Of these deaths, 45,748 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate; this is 15.4% of all deaths.

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    4. Deaths registered by age group

    Figure 3: People aged 90 years and over continued to have the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Week 22

    Deaths by age group, England and Wales, week ending 29 May 2020

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    In Week 22 (week ending 29 May 2020), total deaths decreased in all age groups above 25 to 29 years. The highest proportion of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths was in age group 80 to 84 years, where 23.3% of deaths involved COVID-19 (381 deaths). The largest number of COVID-19 deaths was in those aged 90 years and over, with 468 deaths. Compared with Week 21, the number of COVID-19 deaths decreased or remained similar in all age groups.

    Looking at the year-to date, for most age groups there have been more deaths involving COVID-19 in males than in females (Figure 4). However, there were more deaths in females aged 85 years and over (10,299) than males (8,884). This could be because the over-85-years female population (939,000) is larger than the over-85-years male population (564,000) in England and Wales.

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    5. Deaths by region in England and Wales

    Figure 5: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 was highest in the North West

    Deaths by English regions and Wales, week ending 29 May 2020

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    Figure 6: The number of deaths registered across all English regions and Wales decreased

    Deaths by English regions and Wales, week ending 29 May 2020

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    In Week 22 (week ending 29 May 2020), there were 105 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) registered in Wales. Out of the English regions, the North West had the largest number of deaths involving COVID-19 (282 deaths), whereas the North East region had the highest proportion of COVID-19 deaths, with 25.6% of all deaths being related to COVID-19.

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    6. Deaths registered by place of occurrence

    The year-to-date analysis shows that, of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) up to Week 22 (week ending 29 May 2020), 63.9% (29,227 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (13,460 deaths), private homes (2,070 deaths), hospices (612 deaths), other communal establishments (204 deaths) and elsewhere (175 deaths).

    The proportion of deaths from all causes that occurred in care homes continued to decrease to 25.5% in Week 22. The proportion of care home deaths that involved COVID-19 also decreased; 28.2% of all deaths in care homes involved COVID-19 in Week 22, compared with 32.5% in Week 21.

    Between Week 21 and Week 22, there was a decrease in the number of deaths occurring in all settings (both involving COVID-19 and involving other causes), with the exception of COVID-19 deaths occurring elsewhere, which remained the same. The proportion of all hospital deaths that involved COVID-19 increased to 55.1% in Week 22 (compared with 51.0% in Week 21) but the proportion of deaths occurring in care homes decreased (from 42.1% in Week 21 to 38.7% in Week 22).

    Figure 8: The number of excess deaths decreased in all settings

    Number of excess deaths by place of death between Week 1 and Week 22 of 2020 by place of occurrence, England and Wales

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    In Week 22, the number of excess deaths occurring in care homes and private homes decreased compared with Week 21. In Week 22, there were 819 care home deaths and 868 private home deaths, above the five-year average. Excess deaths in hospitals and in other communal establishments remained slightly below the five-year average.

    Figure 9 is based on date of death for deaths registered up to 6 June 2020, rather than date of registration. This means that as more deaths are registered, deaths per day are likely to increase, especially on later dates. Looking at the most recent week, on average, deaths occurring in hospitals have accounted for 57.6% of deaths and care homes have accounted for 36.8% of all deaths involving COVID-19; this may change as more deaths are registered. Although we expect numbers of deaths to increase as more are registered, it currently appears that deaths per day are decreasing.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Public Health England to better understand deaths that are occurring in care homes. From 28 April 2020, we have published counts of deaths reported by care home operators to the CQC as involving COVID-19. More information can be found in our comparisons article.

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    7. Deaths registered in the UK

    Across the UK, there were 11,256 deaths (all cause) registered in Week 22 (ending 29 May 2020), of which 2,000 deaths involved the coronavirus (COVD-19). There were five deaths involving COVID-19 in the UK in Week 11 (week ending 13 March 2020); this increased to 9,495 deaths registered in Week 16 (week ending 17 April 2020) but has fallen to 2,000 deaths registered in Week 22. In Week 22, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 1,715 deaths, followed by Scotland with 131 deaths, Wales with 105 deaths and Northern Ireland with 49 deaths.

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    8. Deaths data

    Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
    Dataset | Released 9 June 2020
    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 the coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths.

    Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and health board
    Dataset | Released 9 June 2020
    Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (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 9 June 2020
    Provisional counts of deaths in care homes caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) by local authority. Published by the Office for National Statistics and Care Quality Commission.

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    9. 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. 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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    10. Measuring the data

    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.

    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, age group and regions (within England) as well as for Wales as a whole. To allow time for registration and processing, these figures are published 11 days after the week ends. Because of the rapidly changing situation, in this bulletin we have also given provisional updated totals based on the latest available death registrations, up to 30 May 2020.

    Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our regular weekly deaths release now provides a separate breakdown of the numbers of deaths involving 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 new bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic.

    These figures are different from the daily surveillance figures on COVID-19 deaths published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the GOV.UK website, for the UK as a whole and its constituent countries. Figures in this report are derived from the formal process of death registration and may include cases where the doctor completing the death certificate diagnosed possible cases of COVID-19, for example, where this was based on relevant symptoms but no test for the virus was conducted. Our figures also include any deaths that occur outside hospital.

    In contrast to the GOV.UK figures, we include only deaths registered in England and Wales, which is the legal remit of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Table 1 provides an overview of the differences in definitions between sources.

    From 29 April 2020, the DHSC started to publish a new series that uses improved data for England produced by Public Health England as their daily announced figures on deaths from COVID-19 for the UK. These figures provide a count of all deaths where a positive test for COVID-19 has been confirmed, wherever that death has taken place; this is a change from previously reporting only confirmed COVID-19 deaths in hospitals. Figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already begun to include deaths outside hospitals, so this change ensured that the UK-wide series has a shared and common definitional coverage. A statement was published by the ONS that provides more detail on the changes.

    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.

    Within the accompanying dataset, we have also provided weekly provisional figures on COVID-19 deaths registered in the UK along with UK breakdowns by age and Great Britain breakdowns by sex and age.

    There is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration. More information on this issue can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

    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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    11. Strengths and limitations

    Figures are based on the date the death was registered, not when it occurred. There is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration. More information on this issue can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

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    Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

    Sarah Caul
    health.data@ons.gov.uk
    Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 456 490