Can you please advise me how many deaths occurred in the UK in 2020 with only Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate?
Thank you for your request.
We are responsible for the provision of mortality statistics for England and Wales. National Records Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for statistics pertaining to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, we do not hold the number of deaths with only COVID-19 on the death certificate for Scotland and Northern Ireland. NRS and NIRSA would be better placed to assist with these figures and can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.
England and Wales:
We were producing Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales in the response to COVID-19. This publication provides a greater insight into the leading underlying causes of death groups for deaths occurring in England and Wales between March and June 2020. COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales where there was no pre-existing condition between March and June 2020 can be found on table 5.
We define a pre-existing condition here as the last health condition mentioned on the first part of the death certificate when it came before the coronavirus (COVID-19) or was an independent contributory factor in the death, mentioned in part II. Where only COVID-19 was recorded on the death certificate, or COVID-19 and subsequent conditions caused by COVID-19 were recorded, we refer to these deaths as having "No pre-existing conditions".
This publication had been paused in the summer of 2020 due to the decrease in the number of deaths. However, owing to public demand, we have been reassessing the possibility of resuming this publication.
We have now reached a decision, and we plan to include the analysis referenced in your request in our Deaths registered monthly in England and Wales publication, starting from 26 February 2021.
As part of these plans we will update the information we have already published. This is because the deaths in the tables cited above are based on the date a death occurred and not on the date a death was registered. This will enable us to include any deaths that occurred before July 2020, but had not yet been registered by the time we published the last update for Deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales.
You may also find the following information of interest:
Figure 2 of our Deaths registered weekly bulletin shows the number of deaths due to COVID-19 and the number of deaths involving COVID-19, with "due to" referring only to deaths where COVID-19 was recorded as the underlying cause of death and "involving" referring to deaths that had COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not. Please see the download data option at the bottom of figure 2.
The total figures have been summed below for COVID-19 deaths that were registered up to week ending 5th February. COVID-19 is the underlying cause of death in around 90% of deaths where it was mentioned on the death certificate. However, these figures do not exclude other secondary causes that may have contributed to a death. I have summed the figures for you below:
- Deaths involving COVID-19 (underlying or secondary cause): 118,554
- Deaths due to COVID-19 (underlying cause): 107,044
If you would like to discuss these statistics further, please contact email@example.com.