Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 4 June 2021

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

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Cyswllt:
Email Sarah Caul

Dyddiad y datganiad:
15 June 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
22 June 2021

1. Main points

  • The number of deaths registered in England and Wales was affected by the Spring Bank Holiday, with 7,778 deaths registered in the week ending 4 June 2021 (Week 22); this was 1,850 fewer deaths than the previous week (Week 21) and 4.8% below the five-year average (393 fewer deaths).

  • The number of deaths registered in England in the week ending 4 June 2021 (Week 22) was 7,302; this was 1,704 fewer deaths than the previous week (Week 21) and 4.0% below the five-year average (305 fewer deaths).

  • The number of deaths registered in Wales in the week ending 4 June 2021 (Week 22) was 464; this was 146 fewer deaths than the previous week (Week 21) and 15.0% below the five-year average (82 fewer deaths).

  • We estimate that the number of deaths actually occurring (rather than registered) in Week 22 in England and Wales was between 6,987 and 8,976.

  • Of the deaths registered in Week 22 in England and Wales, 98 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, accounting for 1.3% of all deaths; this was an increase compared with Week 21 (95 deaths).

  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England increased to 96 in Week 22 compared with 92 in Week 21; for Wales, deaths decreased to 2 in Week 22 compared with 3 in Week 21.

  • The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 4 June 2021 was 9,111, which was 348 fewer than the five-year average; of deaths registered in the UK in Week 22, 108 involved COVID-19, that is, 2 more than in Week 21.

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Week 22 included the Spring Bank Holiday (Monday 31 May 2021) so differences between Week 21 and Week 22 should be interpreted with caution.

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2. Deaths registered by week

Figure 1: The number of deaths registered was below the five-year average for Week 22 in both England and Wales

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 4 June 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.
Download the data

The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales decreased from 9,628 in Week 21 (week ending 28 May 2021) to 7,778 in Week 22 (week ending 4 June 2021). The number of deaths was 4.8% below the five-year average (393 fewer deaths).

In England, the number of deaths decreased from 9,006 in Week 21 to 7,302 in Week 22, which was 305 fewer deaths (4.0% lower) than the Week 22 five-year average (Figure 1). Of these, 96 deaths involved coronavirus (COVID-19) in Week 22, a 4.3% increase compared with Week 21 (92 deaths). Of all deaths registered in Week 22 in England, 1.3% mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate.

In Wales, the number of deaths decreased from 610 in Week 21 to 464 in Week 22, which was 82 fewer deaths than the Week 22 five-year average (Figure 1). Of these, 2 involved COVID-19 in Week 22, compared with 3 deaths in Week 21. Of all deaths registered in Week 22 in Wales, 0.4% mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate.

Figure 2: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased in Week 22

Deaths involving and due to COVID-19 and influenza and pneumonia, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2020 and 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 number of deaths registered in a week are affected when bank holidays occur.
  5. The average of 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
  6. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1, U07.2, U09.9 and U10.9) and influenza and pneumonia (J09 to J18).
  7. A death can be registered with both COVID-19 and influenza and pneumonia mentioned on the death certificate. Deaths where both were mentioned have been counted in both categories.
  8. We use the term "due to COVID-19" or "due to influenza and pneumonia" when referring only to deaths where that illness was recorded as the underlying cause of death. We use the term "involving COVID-19" or "involving influenza and pneumonia" when referring to deaths that had that illness mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not.
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Of the 98 deaths in England and Wales that involved COVID-19, 57 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (58.2%, Figure 2). The number of deaths mentioning COVID-19 on the death certificate increased, whereas the number of deaths due to COVID-19 decreased. Of the 873 deaths that involved influenza and pneumonia, 186 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (21.3%).

Deaths that involved both COVID-19, and influenza and pneumonia, have been included in both categories for consistency when comparing with the underlying cause of death.

We have developed an experimental statistical model to estimate the number of deaths that actually occurred in a given week, rather than the number registered. For Week 22, we estimate that 7,885 deaths occurred in England and Wales, with a 95% confidence interval of 6,987 to 8,976. This is 1,288 fewer deaths than the mean for the period 2015 to 2019 in Week 22, and a decrease of 831 deaths from the Week 21 2021 estimate of 8,716 (confidence interval: 8,433 to 9,065).

These are provisional estimates that assume that the pattern of occurrences can be predicted based on experience in previous years. The estimate for the most recent week always has a wider margin of error than for earlier weeks, so it should be treated with caution.

Figure 3: Deaths from all causes were below the five-year average in Week 22

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 4 June 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 the data

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 22 of 2021 (week ending 4 June 2021), 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 4 June 2021 was 764,444 in England and Wales. Of the deaths registered by 4 June 2021, 140,185 (18.3%) mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate. During this period, the number of excess deaths above the five-year average was 103,857 deaths.

In England, the number of deaths between the weeks ending 13 March 2020 and 4 June 2021 was 717,008; of these, 132,108 deaths (18.4%) mentioned COVID-19. This was 99,955 deaths above the five-year average.

In Wales, the number of deaths for the same period was 46,505; of these, 7,893 deaths (17.0%) mentioned COVID-19. This was 4,895 deaths above the five-year average.

More about coronavirus

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3. Deaths registered by age group

In Week 22 (week ending 4 June 2021), the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales decreased or was similar in the majority of the five-year age groups compared with Week 21. This is the second consecutive week where the majority of deaths were among those aged under 75 years instead of those aged 75 years and over. The majority (71.4%) of deaths involving COVID-19 were again among people aged 65 years and over instead of 75 years and over.

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4. Deaths by region in England and Wales

Figure 5: The number of deaths in Week 22 was lower than the five-year average in Wales and all English regions

Number of deaths in Wales and regions of England, registered between 28 December 2019 and 4 June 2021

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Notes:
  1. Based on area of usual residence. Geographical boundaries are based on the most up-to-date information available at the time of publication.
  2. Figures exclude 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. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) definitions are available in the Measuring the data section.
  6. The number of deaths registered in a week are affected when bank holidays occur.
  7. The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
Download the data

In Week 22 (week ending 4 June 2021), the total number of deaths registered was lower than the five-year average in all of the English regions and Wales (Figure 5). The largest decrease compared with the five-year average was in Wales (15.0% fewer deaths).

Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased in Wales and four of the nine English regions compared with Week 21, with deaths involving COVID-19 increasing in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands and West Midlands. The largest decrease was reported in London (9 fewer deaths), whereas the largest increase was reported in the North West (14 more deaths). More detailed geographic analysis can be found in our Monthly mortality analysis release.

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5. Deaths registered by place of occurrence

Between Weeks 21 and 22, the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased in care homes (1 fewer), and private homes (3 fewer), increased in hospitals (6 more) and other communal establishments (1 more), with no change in hospices and elsewhere. Deaths involving COVID-19 in hospitals as a proportion of all deaths in hospitals increased to 2.0% in Week 22 (1.5% in Week 21). Deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes accounted for 0.6% of all deaths in care homes, an increase from Week 21 (0.5%).

Detailed analysis on deaths of care home residents is available in Deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, England and Wales: deaths registered between week ending 20 March 2020 and week ending 2 April 2021.

From Week 1 2021 (week ending 8 January 2021) onwards, we have published a dataset of weekly deaths of care home residents.

As well as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) provides numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England that are based on the date the death was notified to the CQC. From 10 April 2020 (the first day when data were collected using the CQC’s new method of identifying deaths involving COVID-19) to 11 June 2021, there were 29,414 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19. Of these deaths, 6 were notified in the week up to 11 June 2021.

Because of a revision of the coding for the CQC data, it has been identified that some deaths between 2 November 2020 and 22 April 2021 initially coded as “not COVID-19” have been updated to either “confirmed COVID-19” or “suspected COVID-19”. More information relating to this update can be found in the accompanying dataset. More information on the data provided by the CQC can be found in our joint transparency statement.

In Wales, the Welsh Government publishes the number of deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19 notified to the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). Between 1 March 2020 and 2 June 2021, there were 1,922 deaths of residents in care homes involving COVID-19.

Figure 6: Deaths in Week 22 were above the five-year average in private homes, but below the five-year average in hospitals, care homes and other settings

Number of excess deaths by place of occurrence, England and Wales, registered between 7 March 2020 and 4 June 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. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) definitions are available in the Measuring the data section.
  6. "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 accompanying dataset.
  7. The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
Download the data

In Week 22, the number of deaths in private homes was 24.1% above the five-year average (461 excess deaths). Deaths in other settings were 3.8% below the five-year average (27 deaths fewer), deaths within care homes were 13.4% below the five-year average (226 deaths fewer) and deaths in hospitals were 15.6% below the five-year average (602 deaths fewer).

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

Figure 7 is based on date of death for deaths registered up to 12 June 2021, rather than date of registration. As more deaths are registered, deaths per day are likely to increase, especially for later dates. Looking at the number of deaths involving COVID-19 that occurred in Week 22, 76.9% of deaths occurred in hospitals and 11.5% occurred in care homes; this may change as more deaths are registered.

The earliest known death involving COVID-19 occurred in the week ending 31 January 2020 (Week 5).

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6. Deaths registered in the UK

Across the UK, there were 9,111 deaths (all causes) registered in Week 22 (week ending 4 June 2021), which was 348 fewer deaths than the UK five-year average, and 1,880 fewer deaths than in Week 21 (week ending 28 May 2021).

Using the most up-to-date data we have available, from the week ending 13 March 2020 up to 4 June 2021, the number of deaths was 866,005. The number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) was 152,397, and the number of excess deaths above the five-year average was 115,449.

Deaths in England and Wales were below the five-year average in Week 22. Deaths in Scotland were higher by 34 deaths and those in Northern Ireland were higher by 11 deaths. Of all UK deaths, 108 involved COVID-19, 2 more deaths than in Week 21 (1.9% increase) (Figure 8).

In Week 22, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 96 deaths, followed by Scotland with 8 deaths and Wales and Northern Ireland with 2 deaths each.

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7. Comparison of weekly deaths occurrences in England and Wales

This section will look at the number of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) by date of death produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) compared with death notifications reported on the GOV.UK Coronavirus in the UK dashboard. For Wales, we can also compare the data by date of death released by Public Health Wales (PHW).

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8. Deaths data

Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
Dataset | Released 15 June 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 15 June 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 15 June 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 15 June 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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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 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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10. 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 12 June 2021.

Coronavirus

This weekly release now provides a separate breakdown of the number 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 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, with the last time there was a Week 53 being 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.

Influenza and pneumonia has been included for comparison (Figure 2) 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 release.

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. Results are shown in the "Estimated total deaths 2021" tab, of the accompanying 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.

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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11. Strengths and limitations

Comparability

These weekly figures are for England and Wales only (as this is the ONS's 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 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 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 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.

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 (0)1329 444110