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Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19)


The number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the UK increased from 211 to 334 in the latest week (ending 10 June 2022). Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 2.5% of all deaths; a decrease from 2.7% in the previous week.

The number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England increased in groups aged 25 years and over and remained similar in groups aged under 25 years (week ending 10 June 2022). Deaths involving COVID-19 increased in eight out of nine English regions. You can read more about this on our Comparisons page.

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Deaths

There were 334 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in the UK in the week ending 10 June 2022. This is an increase from 211 deaths in the previous week (ending 3 June 2022). Of these, 271 were registered in England, 12 in Wales, 38 in Scotland and 12 in Northern Ireland. The numbers of deaths registered in the latest two weeks are affected by the bank holidays on June 2 and 3.

Last updated: 21/06/2022

Read more about this in our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional bulletin

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There were 586,334 deaths registered in 2021 across England and Wales. This was 21,588 deaths (3.6%) fewer than 2020 (607,922 deaths) and 54,257 deaths (10.2%) more than the five-year average of 2015 to 2019 (532,077 deaths).

In 2020, deaths were higher for males (308,069 deaths) than females (299,853 deaths) for the first time since 1981. This trend continued in 2021 with more deaths being registered for males (297,989 deaths) than females (288,345 deaths).

COVID-19 remained the leading cause of death in 2021, with 67,350 deaths having an underlying cause of COVID-19, accounting for 11.5% of all deaths registered.

Last updated: 09/06/2022

Read more about this in our Deaths registered summary statistics, England and Wales: 2021

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Mortality rates for deaths due to COVID-19 in England decreased to 31.3 deaths per 100,000 people in May 2022, from 56.0 in April 2022. In Wales, the mortality rate decreased to 33.3 deaths per 100,000 people in May 2022, from 58.4 in April 2022. These are the lowest rates since July 2021 in England (20.5 deaths per 100,000 people) and August 2021 in Wales (24.5 deaths per 100,000 people).

In May 2022, COVID-19 was the sixth leading cause of death in England (3.3% of all deaths) and Wales (3.3% of all deaths). In April 2022, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in England (6.1% of all deaths) and Wales (5.7% of all deaths).

Last updated: 22/06/2022

Read more about this in our Monthly mortality analysis, England and Wales bulletin

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The proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 where COVID-19 was the underlying cause remained similar between April and May 2022 in England (from 64.2% to 63.1%), and in Wales (from 65.1% to 66.7%).

In England, the proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 that were also due to COVID-19 was highest in April 2020 (95.2%) and lowest in March 2022 (63.0%). In Wales, this proportion was highest in April 2020 (94.1%) and lowest in June 2021 (42.9%).

The doctor certifying a death can list all causes in the chain of events that led to the death, and pre-existing conditions that may have contributed to the death. Deaths with COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate are defined as deaths involving COVID-19. Deaths where COVID-19 is also the underlying cause of death are defined as deaths due to COVID-19.

Last updated: 22/06/2022

Read more about this in our Monthly mortality analysis, England and Wales bulletin

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Risk of death involving Omicron variant was 67% lower than the Delta variant of COVID-19

Change in risk of death involving COVID-19 for Omicron relative to Delta, for the whole sample and for sex and age group, England, December 2021

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The risk of death involving COVID-19 was 67% lower following an Omicron variant infection compared with the Delta variant (December 2021). This risk was reduced more for men (75%) than for women (56%). It was also reduced more for younger age groups (by 87% for those aged 18 to 59 years and 86% for 60- to 69-year-olds) compared with those aged 70 years and over (55% reduction).

Last updated: 24/02/2022

Read more about this in our Comparing the risk of death involving COVID-19 by variant, December 2021, England bulletin

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COVID-19 and flu deaths

While COVID-19 is mentioned on fewer death certificates than flu and pneumonia, it is far more likely to be listed as the underlying cause of death

Number of deaths registered involving and due to COVID-19, and flu and pneumonia, England and Wales, week ending 13 March 2020 to week ending 1 April 2022 

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Around 6 in 10 (62%) of deaths involving COVID-19 in the week ending 1 April 2022 had COVID-19 identified as the underlying cause of death, with similar proportions throughout March. This is a decrease from 90% in spring 2020 and the early part of 2021, possibly because of booster vaccinations and high antibody levels across the population.

In the week ending 1 April 2022, a fifth of deaths involving flu and pneumonia (20%) were due to these conditions, similar to most weeks since March 2021. While the proportion of COVID-19 deaths due to the disease reduced in early 2022, it is still three times higher than the proportion for flu and pneumonia.

Last updated: 23/05/2022

Read more about this in our How coronavirus (COVID-19) compares with flu as a cause of death article

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The average age of death is lower for COVID-19 than flu and pneumonia

Mean age of deaths registered due to COVID-19 and flu and pneumonia, England and Wales, March 2020 to March 2022

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Deaths due to COVID-19 have occurred more evenly across age groups than deaths due to flu and pneumonia, although in both cases the majority of deaths have been among the oldest.

The average (mean) age of death for COVID-19 has been lower than that of flu and pneumonia throughout the pandemic. In summer 2021, the mean age of death fell to 73 years, but has been rising again since the majority of the population have been fully vaccinated to 83 years in March 2022.

While most deaths due to COVID-19 have occurred among those aged over 80 years, the increased risk of death compared with flu and pneumonia has been greatest for those aged 40 to 79 years. In January 2021, when COVID-19 deaths were at their peak, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 was nearly 32 times higher than the number due to flu and pneumonia for this age group. Among those aged over 80 years, deaths due to COVID-19 were 16 times higher than those due to flu and pneumonia.

Last updated: 23/05/2022

Read more about this in our How coronavirus (COVID-19) compares with flu as a cause of death article

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Deaths by vaccination status

COVID-19 mortality rates lowest for those with three vaccinations

The risk of death involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in England has been consistently lower for people who had a third vaccine dose or booster at least 21 days ago, compared with those who are unvaccinated and those with only a first or second dose.

Before March 2022, people who had received a second vaccine dose but not a third dose had a higher risk of death involving COVID-19 if their second vaccine dose was over six months ago than those who had their second dose less than six months ago. This indicated possible waning protection from vaccination over time. However, from March 2022, this difference was no longer significant.

While these statistics are adjusted for age, they cannot be used to determine vaccine effectiveness. This is because vaccinated and unvaccinated people likely differ in characteristics other than age, such as health. Some deaths are expected in vaccinated individuals as the number of people who are vaccinated is high and no vaccine is 100% effective.

Last updated: 16/05/2022

Read more about this in our Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England: deaths occurring between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2022 bulletin

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Deaths by disability status

The risk of death involving COVID-19 was higher for disabled people than non-disabled people

Disabled people in England were at greater risk of death involving COVID-19 during the pandemic than non-disabled people. The risk was greater for more-disabled people than less-disabled people.  

Between 24 January 2020 and 9 March 2022, the risk of death involving COVID-19 was: 

  • 1.6 times higher for more-disabled women than for non-disabled women 

  • 1.4 times higher for more-disabled men than for non-disabled men  

  • 1.3 times higher for less-disabled men and less-disabled women compared with non-disabled men and non-disabled women  

The higher risk of death for more- and less-disabled people of both sexes compared with non-disabled people was largely unchanged across each wave of the pandemic.

Last updated: 09/05/2022

Read more about this in our Updated estimates of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by disability status, England bulletin

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Pre-existing health conditions

Of deaths in England and Wales where COVID-19 was the underlying cause, the most common pre-existing condition recorded on the death certificate was symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions (23.2%, January to March 2022). Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the second most common at 18.2%, followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases at 15.8% and Diabetes at 15.7%. This was the first time Diabetes was not the most common pre-existing condition since October to December 2020.

Overall, the proportion of COVID-19 deaths with no pre-existing conditions decreased in January to March 2022 (13.9%), compared with October to December 2021 (16.8%).

Pre-existing health conditions are recorded if they are believed to have made some contribution to the death. Deaths may be counted more than once as someone may have more than one pre-existing condition. Health conditions may not be included if they were not considered relevant.

Last updated: 27/04/2021

Read more about this in our Monthly mortality analysis, England and Wales: March 2022 bulletin

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Deaths by ethnicity

Deaths were highest for the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups in the Omicron variant period

Age-standardised mortality rates of deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) for those aged 10 to 100 years by ethnic group and sex, England: 10 January to 16 February 2022

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Patterns in rates of deaths involving COVID-19 between ethnic groups have changed over the coronavirus pandemic. Our latest analysis of the period since Omicron became the main variant shows rates of deaths involving COVID-19 were higher for many ethnic minority groups compared with the White British group (10 January to 16 February 2022). Rates of deaths were highest for the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups. This is similar to patterns seen earlier in the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, before Omicron became the main variant.

These findings were true for males (2.7 times higher than White British for Bangladeshi and 2.2 times higher for Pakistani) and females (2.5 times higher than White British for Pakistani and 1.9 times higher for Bangladeshi).

Last updated: 07/04/2022

Read more about this in our Updated ethnic contrasts in deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), England: since 10 January 2022 bulletin

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Further information


The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) weekly provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland includes all deaths with coronavirus (COVID-19) mentioned on the death certificate. Figures presented on the latest insights tool are different from the daily surveillance figures on COVID-19 deaths published by the Department of Health and Social Care, which provide daily and cumulative deaths occurring within 28 days of a positive test.

To find out more about deaths data from different sources visit our more information page.

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Contact

Latest insights team
infection.survey.analysis@ons.gov.uk