Health and Life Events Division
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 651639
Frequency of release: Annually
Geographical coverage: England and Wales
Geographical breakdown: Local Authority and County, Region
There were an estimated 24,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2011/12 – an 8 per cent reduction compared with the previous winter.
As in previous years, there were more excess winter deaths in females than in males in 2011/12.
Between 2010/11 and 2011/12 male excess winter deaths decreased from 11,270 to 10,700, and female deaths from 14,810 to 13,300.
The majority of deaths occurred among those aged 75 and over; there were 19,500 excess winter deaths in this age group in 2011/12 compared with 4,500 in the under 75-year-olds.
The excess winter mortality index was highest in London in 2011/12, whereas in 2010/11 it was highest in Wales. Wales had one of the lowest levels of excess winter mortality last winter, second only to the North East of England.
In common with other countries, in England and Wales more people die in the winter than in the summer. This statistical bulletin presents provisional figures of excess winter deaths (also referred to as excess winter mortality – EWM) in England and Wales for the winter period 2011/12, and final figures for the winter period 2010/11. Historical trends from 1950/51 onwards are also presented for comparison. Figures are presented by sex, age, region and cause of death. Figures on temperature and influenza incidence are also provided to add context to the mortality figures.
Information about the underlying mortality data, including details on how the data is collected and coded, data quality and legislation are available in the Mortality metadata (775.7 Kb Pdf) and Quality and Methodology Information for Mortality Statistics in England and Wales (178.8 Kb Pdf) .
Mortality Statistics: Deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR) is an annual publication containing a range of detailed reference tables, including the number of deaths by cause of death, sex and five-year age group.
The 20th Century Mortality Files are a record of mortality in England and Wales from 1901 to 2000 while the 21st Century Mortality Files are a record of mortality in England and Wales from 2001 onwards.
Weekly death figures provide provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the latest eight weeks for which data are available. Monthly death figures provide provisional counts of the number of deaths registered by area of usual residence for England and Wales and final monthly counts for previous years.
These figures will not agree with the figures contained in the excess winter mortality release, as they are provisional and based on the date a death was registered rather than when it occurred – figures contained in the excess winter mortality release are based on death occurrences.
UK excess winter mortality figures are not available as ONS only hold mortality data for England and Wales. Differences in the death registration systems and methods used to calculate winter mortality between the countries of the UK mean it is not possible to produce UK figures.
National Records of Scotland (NRS) produce an annual winter mortality report, which is available on their website.
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) produced a report on excess winter mortality in 2011 which is available on their website.
We welcome feedback on the content, format and relevance of this release. User Engagement in the Health and Life Events Division (95.1 Kb Pdf) outlines the divisional approach to user engagement.
The next edition of the excess winter mortality statistical bulletin will be released in November 2013.
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.