FOI Reference: FOI/2021/3219

You asked

  1. Please can you tell me how many people in the UK have died from influenza in 2020, please?

  2. Can I also have data on how this compares to the previous five years, up to 2020?

  3. Can you also tell me how many people have died from suicide in the UK in 2020 and how this compares to 2019?

  4. Also, how many people have died from Cancer (any) in the UK in 2020, compared to 2019?

We said

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 requested data for the whole of the UK. Should you wish to obtain this data from NRS and NISRA, they can be contacted at and respectively.

When a death is registered, all of the conditions mentioned on the death certificate are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) the coded mortality data available up to end of December 2019 is coded to version 2014 of the ICD10 framework. From all of these causes an underlying cause of death is selected using ICD-10 coding rules:

The underlying cause of death is defined by WHO as:

a) the disease or injury that initiated the train of events directly leading to death, or

b) the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury

Influenza deaths 2015 to 2020:

2015: 282

2016: 427

2017: 458

2018: 1,596

2019: 1,213

2020: 510

These figures are available in our NOMIS webservice. Please see the following instructions on how to extract data via Nomis:

  • Select Geography, choose Countries ALL for England and Wales including non-residents or specific countries. Local authority level is available, please use the search bar to select.
  • Click Date and tick required dates or ALL for 2013-2020 range.
  • NOMIS automatically selects total ages, if you require Age disaggregation please tick the selected 5-year age bands.
  • NOMIS automatically selects number of deaths, if you require rates or percentages please tick this manually.
  • NOMIS automatically selects Total, if you require disaggregation by sex please tick boxes for male and female.
  • Underlying cause -- In the search bar type insert ICD-10 codes. Alternatively, select "ICD-10" list and expand insert starting letter of ICD10 codes (J) for example for influenza and select manually. (Amend to leading cause if applicable)
  • Click format if you require CSV download, if you require Excel format you do not need to follow this step.
  • Click Download the data.

Suicides in 2019 and 2020:

The number of suicides for England and Wales for 1981 to 2020 are available in table 1 of the Suicides in England and Wales: 2020 registrationsdataset. The figures for England and Wales can be found below.

2019: 5,691

2020: 5,224

Cancer deaths in 2019 and 2020:

Cancer deaths in England and Wales for 2019 and 2020 can be found in the Deaths Registered Series.

Alternatively, the NOMIS Webservice will provide deaths by 4-digit ICD-10 code or by Leading cause code for 2013-2020.

Please see the below table showing total deaths caused by LC02 Cancer (malignant neoplasms) in England and Wales in 2019 and 2020:

For any further information on the above data set, please contact