The coronavirus (COVID-19) has not gone away and continues to have a major impact on people’s lives.

Statistics allow us to keep track of the pandemic; not just through the number of deaths or infections, but also with measures of the impact on the economy and businesses, as well as people’s well-being, working situation and their daily routine.

Here are 10 charts that show how the emergence of COVID-19 has affected life, society and the economy.

1. The number of deaths peaked at more than twice normal levels because of COVID-19

Death registrations in England and Wales compared with five-year average (2015 to 2019), by whether or not COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate

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  1. Bank holidays affected registrations in the weeks ending 8 May, 29 May and 4 September.
  2. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  3. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  4. All figures for 2020 are provisional.
  5. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).

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At the peak of the pandemic in England and Wales (the weeks ending 17 and 24 April), the total number of deaths per week was more than twice normal levels.

This was largely because more than 8,000 people died with COVID-19 in both weeks, but deaths from other causes were also higher than the average between 2015 and 2019.

In total, there have been almost 52,000 deaths involving COVID-19 registered up to 11 September, 89% of which have been people aged 65 years and over. Including deaths from other causes, the total rises to more than 58,000 excess deaths since the first COVID-19 death was registered in the week ending 13 March.

Our analysis has identified a large number of non-COVID-19 excess deaths for which there are several possible explanations, including people not attending hospital for treatment.

Comparisons of mortality rates show that England had the highest peak in excess deaths of the four UK nations, and the second-highest peak in Europe (behind Spain). England also had the longest continuous period of above-average mortality, resulting in the highest overall levels of excess deaths of any country in Europe.

Data for deaths registrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland are published separately by National Records of Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

2. There have been more excess deaths in care homes and private homes than in hospitals

Difference between death registrations in 2020 and the five-year average between 2015 and 2019, by place of death, England and Wales

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  1. Bank holidays affected registrations in the weeks ending 8 May, 29 May and 4 September
  2. Based on area of usual residence, boundaries correct as of August 2020.
  3. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  4. All figures for 2020 are provisional.
  5. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).
  6. "Other" includes deaths in communal establishments other than hospitals and care homes, in hospices, and that occurred "elsewhere". This is the same definition as used in previous weeks, but the label has been updated. More information on the place of death definitions used is available in the accompanying dataset.

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While deaths in hospitals peaked at 88% (an additional 4,416 deaths) above normal levels in the week ending 17 April, deaths in care homes soared to more than three-and-a-half times the average a week later (an additional 5,656).

The subsequent decline in COVID-19 mortality has brought weekly deaths in hospitals and care homes back down to normal levels (or lower). However, deaths in private homes remain 30% to 40% above what we would normally see (700 to 1,000 additional deaths per week).

Over the course of the pandemic as a whole, the proportion of deaths occurring in hospitals has been lower compared with the same period in previous years (40% versus 47%). The proportions of deaths occurring in care homes and private homes have increased.

3. The mortality rate from COVID-19 has been highest among black men

Age-standardised rates for deaths involving COVID-19 at ages 9 to 64 years by sex and ethnic group, per 100,000 people: England and Wales, occurring 2 March to 15 May 2020

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  1. Figures based on death registrations up to 29 May 2020 that occurred between 2 March and 15 May 2020 that could be linked to the 2011 Census for the coronavirus (COVID-19) rate of death.
  2. Other ethnic group encompasses Asian other, Arab and other ethnic group categories in the classification.
  3. Non-overlapping error bars denote a statistically significant difference in rates of death.
  4. The rates for Chinese females are deemed unreliable because of low counts; therefore, we could not calculate confidence intervals around their estimate.

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Analysis from the height of the pandemic showed that the death rate from COVID-19 was significantly higher among people of Black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian, and Other ethnicity compared with those of White ethnicity.

Black males between the ages of 9 and 64 years died at a rate of 47 per 100,000 in the population, compared with 10 per 100,000 White males. The mortality rate among Black females was also over four times higher than that of White women, at nearly 25 deaths per 100,000 in the population.

Even after adjusting for socio-demographic factors that are likely to affect risk of exposure to the virus and dying once infected, such as age and living and working conditions, the rate of death involving COVID-19 among Black males remained twice as great as that for comparable White males.

We have also looked at mortality rates by disability, religion, and occupation type. Compared with the rate among people of the same sex and age in England and Wales, men working in elementary occupations had the highest rate of death involving COVID-19, at 39.7 deaths per 100,000 men (421 deaths); of the specific elementary occupations, men working as security guards had the highest rate, at 74.0 deaths per 100,000 (104 deaths).

Elementary occupations were also found to be among those with the highest potential exposure to COVID-19, alongside medical occupations.

4. The number of people newly infected with COVID-19 is increasing

Estimated numbers of new infections with the coronavirus (COVID-19), England, based on tests conducted since 11 May 2020

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  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.
  2. The break distinguishes between the latest six-week estimates and the earlier period. The earlier estimates will be updated periodically. Using data from only the most recent six weeks in the model enables us to continue to provide timely results.
  3. This model does not control for household clustering, where multiple new cases derive from the same household.
  4. Official reported estimates are plotted at a reference point believed to be most representative of the given week. Details of which day was used for each week can be found in the dataset that accompanies this bulletin.
  5. Modelled estimates include additional swab test results not available when the official reported estimates were produced.
  6. Initial unweighted estimates covering the full study period to date are not included in the official reported estimates chart.

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Since 11 May 2020, we have estimated the number and rate of new infections in the community population in England from the COVID-19 Infection Survey.

There has been a rise in new infections in recent weeks, with the latest figures pointing to 6,000 new cases per day in England (95% credible interval: 4,200 to 8,300). This does not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings. Prior to the recent rise, new infections reached a low point in June, which had levelled off in August.

In particular, there is clear evidence of an increase in new cases among younger age groups.

We have also published estimates of the number of people with COVID-19 in the community in England (the positivity rate) since 26 April. This measure has also been increasing in recent weeks. We do not have any estimates of infections in the period before 26 April.

5. The number of people visiting workplaces, shops and public transport hubs fell drastically because of lockdown

Google mobility data showing the change in the number of people frequenting different public settings in the UK, compared with a February base

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Notes: 1. As mobility is compared to a February base, it is expected that use of parks would rise during the spring and summer.

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Lockdown measures introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19 precipitated a huge change in people’s lifestyles and habits. The number of people in the UK spending time at transport hubs, in workplaces and on high streets remains below pre-pandemic levels, according to Google mobility data, while people are continuing to spend more time around their homes and in public parks.

According to data from Springboard – which compares footfall levels in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres – footfall has returned to 75% of its level this time last year. This has risen from March and April when the strictest lockdown measures were in place – footfall levels were between 10% and 20% of their level at the same time last year.

Major changes to lifestyles, impacting on people’s ability to socialise with loved ones and engage in hobbies and interests, have had a significant impact on the nation’s well-being. Our Diary of a nation presents people’s experiences in their own words.

6. Parents working from home tended to work in the morning and carry out homeschooling duties later in the day

Percentage of parents spending time working compared with percentage home schooling by time of day, Great Britain, 28 March to 26 April 2020

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Many schools were closed from when lockdown was imposed in late March, until the autumn term resumed in August and September. This meant that working parents had to juggle work with childcare responsibilities such as homeschooling.

Time use data showed that many parents used the mornings to complete work, with the most common homeschooling hours taking place in late afternoon and evening.

In early April, respondents to our Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) were asked whether they agreed that homeschooling was putting strain on their household relationships, and almost half (48%) either strongly or somewhat agreed.

Nearly a third (30%) of parents strongly or somewhat agreed that homeschooling was negatively affecting their well-being, while 50% said it was negatively affecting the well-being of their children.

7. The economy is 11.7% smaller than it was pre-lockdown, despite recovering some ground since April

Monthly output (March, April, May, June and July 2020) as a proportion of February 2020, overall gross domestic product (GDP) and selected industries, UK (February 2020 output = 100%)

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The inevitable impact of lockdown meant that the economy shrunk by around a quarter between February and April. It has since recovered some ground between May and July, but it remains substantially smaller than before the pandemic.

Across Quarter 2 (April to June), the economy contracted by a record 20.4%. In comparison, the largest quarterly decline during the 2008 recession was 2.1%.

Almost all sectors have seen declines, particularly those largely shut down because of coronavirus restrictions. In hospitality, for example, fewer than one in four businesses were trading between March and May (according to results from previous waves of our Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS)).

The most timely economic figures are showing further signs of recovery – retail sales are back above pre-pandemic levels, and there was big take-up of Eat Out to Help Out in August.

8. Almost one-third of jobs have been furloughed at some point, with young people most affected

Proportion of eligible UK jobs furloughed at any point up to the end of June 2020, by age of employee

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In total, 32% of eligible jobs (9.6 million) were furloughed through the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for at least part of the period between March and June 2020.

The CJRS allows employers to apply for a government grant to cover up to 80% of employee wages up to £2,500 per month. The scheme – available until the end of October – was designed to help employers retain their staff, despite reduced activity because of lockdown.

With young people more likely to work in affected sectors such as hospitality, the proportion furloughed was much higher (47%) among 16- to 24-year-olds.

While the overall unemployment rate remains historically low (having increased only slightly in the latest three months), our data show that the number of young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in employment has fallen.

9. With vacancies falling across all industries, people are competing for fewer jobs

Number of vacancies per 100 employee jobs by industry, UK, June to August 2020 compared with June to August 2019

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Firms have scaled back hiring significantly, with job vacancies still almost 50% below pre-pandemic levels.

There were 1.4 vacancies per 100 employee jobs in the three months to August 2020, down from 2.7 at the same time last year. The ratio of vacancies to jobs has risen slightly since the height of lockdown (April to June), but it remains lower than anything seen during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

The shortage of vacancies is leading to greater competition for jobs and people applying for positions for which they are arguably overqualified.

By industry, arts, entertainment and recreation, and accommodation and food service activities have seen the greatest declines compared with the same time last year.

10. Public sector debt has exceeded gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since the early 1960s

A combination of increased government spending, reduced cash receipts and a fall in GDP has pushed public sector net debt at the end of July 2020 to 100.5% of GDP.

Before July, debt had not exceeded GDP since the financial year ending March 1961.

In cash terms, debt has passed £2 trillion for the first time. It has risen sharply in recent months because of increased spending on relief schemes (which have seen widespread take-up among businesses) and reduced revenue from taxes. Net borrowing in the first four months of this financial year (April to July 2020) was £150.5 billion, more than six times the total in the same period last year.


  • Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional

    Provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the latest weeks.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by ethnic group, England and Wales

    Deaths related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) by ethnic group, including death counts, age-standardised mortality rates, and hazard rate ratios by age, sex and ethnic group.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK

    Percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in private residential households in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, including regional and age breakdowns. This survey is being delivered in partnership with University of Oxford, University of Manchester, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Wellcome Trust, working with the University of Oxford and partner laboratories to collect and test samples.

  • Parenting in lockdown: Coronavirus and the effects on work-life balance

    Parents in Great Britain who have been able to work through the coronavirus lockdown have adapted their working patterns around caring for their children. There were some clear trends in how that childcare was delivered.

  • GDP monthly estimate, UK

    Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the value of goods and services produced in the UK. It estimates the size of and growth in the economy.

  • Labour market overview, UK

    Estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment-related statistics for the UK.

  • Public sector finances, UK

    How the relationship between UK public sector monthly income and expenditure leads to changes in deficit and debt.

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