Generated on 2021-04-13

What’s new in this report

The model used to estimate expected deaths has been revised to allow better precision of estimates by age, ethnic group and deprivation. Full details are available in the methodology document. These do not significantly affect overall figures.

We have updated the presentation of cause of death information. The difference is in the difference in how “cause” is defined. The new report shows the excess deaths by mention of cause of death, that is, a cause that appeared somewhere on the death certificate. The previous reports showed the excess deaths by underlying cause of death. Analysis of excess deaths by underlying cause were hard to interpret as they were affected by the fact that COVID-19, a new cause of death, was often the underlying cause of death instead.

Introduction

Monitoring excess mortality provides understanding of the impact of COVID-19 during the course of the pandemic and beyond. Excess mortality in this report is defined as the number of deaths throughout the pandemic which are above the number expected based on mortality rates in earlier years.

In this report the expected number of deaths is modelled using five years of data from preceding years to estimate the number of deaths we would expect on each week through the pandemic. Excess deaths are estimated by week and in total since 21 March 2020, based on the date each death was registered rather than when it occurred. Excess deaths are presented by age, sex, Upper Tier Local Authority, ethnic group, level of deprivation, cause of death and place of death. Please note, some of the figures in this report have been rounded, though the differences displayed are based on unrounded data.

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