Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 17 April 2020

Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available.

This is not the latest release. View latest release

This is an accredited national statistic.

Contact:
Email Sarah Caul

Release date:
28 April 2020

Next release:
5 May 2020

2. Main points

  • The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 17 April 2020 (Week 16) was 22,351; this represents an increase of 3,835 deaths registered compared with the previous week (Week 15) and 11,854 more than the five-year average; this is the highest weekly total recorded since comparable figures begin in 1993.

  • Of the deaths registered in Week 16, 8,758 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, which is 39.2% of all deaths; this compares with 6,213 (33.6% of all deaths) in Week 15.

  • In London, over half (55.5%) of deaths registered in Week 16 involved COVID-19; the North West and North East also had a high proportion of COVID-19 deaths, accounting for 42.3% and 41.1% respectively of deaths registered in these regions.

  • Of deaths involving COVID-19 registered up to Week 16, 77.4% (14,796 deaths) occurred in hospital with the remainder occurring in care homes, private homes and hospices.

  • The number of overall deaths in care homes for Week 16 was 7,316; this is 2,389 higher than Week 15, almost double the number in Week 14 and almost triple the number in Week 13.

  • Week 16 included the Easter Monday bank holiday, and the five-year average shows a decrease in registrations over the Easter holiday; however, the Coronavirus Act 2020 allowed registry offices to remain open over Easter, which may have reduced any drop in registrations for Week 16 2020.

Back to table of contents

3. Deaths registered by week

Figure 1: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased, while the number of deaths from “Influenza and Pneumonia” decreased compared with the previous week

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 17 April 2020

Embed code

Notes:

  1. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2020 are provisional.
  4. The ICD-10 definitions are as follows: COVID-19 (U07.1 and U07.2), Influenza and Pneumonia (J09-J18).
  5. A death can be registered with both COVID-19 and Influenza and Pneumonia mentioned on the death certificate. Because pneumonia may be a consequence of COVID-19, deaths where both were mentioned have been counted only in the COVID-19 category.

Download the data

The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in Week 16 (week ending 17 April 2020) increased from 18,516 in Week 15 (week ending 10 April 2020) to 22,351. This is 11,854 more deaths than the five-year average of 10,497 and is the highest weekly total since 1993, the earliest date where we have robust comparable figures. More information is in Measuring the data.

The number of death registrations involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) increased from 6,213 in Week 15 to 8,758 in Week 16. This means that 39.2% of all deaths registered in Week 16 mentioned COVID-19, compared with 33.6% of all deaths in Week 15.

More about coronavirus

  • Find the latest on coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
  • All ONS analysis, summarised in our coronavirus roundup.
  • View all coronavirus data.
  • The number of deaths mentioning “Influenza and Pneumonia” on the death certificate (without COVID-19) decreased from 2,003 in Week 15 to 1,931 in Week 16. There were 3,220 deaths in Week 16 that mentioned both “Influenza and Pneumonia” and COVID-19 on the death certificate.

    In Week 16, 47.8% of all deaths mentioned “Influenza and Pneumonia”, COVID-19, or both. In comparison, for the five-year average, 19.4% of deaths mentioned “Influenza and Pneumonia”. “Influenza and Pneumonia” has been included for comparison, as a well-understood cause of death involving respiratory infection that is likely to have somewhat similar risk factors to COVID-19.

    Back to table of contents

    4. Deaths registered by age group

    Figure 2: Deaths from COVID-19 were registered in all age groups apart from those aged under 1 year

    Deaths by age group, England and Wales, week ending 17 April 2020

    Embed code

    Download the data

    In Week 16 (week ending 17 April 2020), there were no deaths registered involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the youngest age group (that is, those aged 1 year or under). The highest number (3,413) of COVID-19 deaths were among those aged 85 years and over, however, the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 out of all causes was among those aged 65 to 74 years (42.7%).

    Back to table of contents

    5. Deaths by regions in England and Wales

    Figure 3: The highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 was recorded in London, while the lowest number was in Wales

    Deaths by regions in England, and Wales, week ending 17 April 2020

    Embed code

    Download the data

    In Week 16 (week ending 17 April 2020), there were 409 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) registered in Wales. The region with the largest number and proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 was London with 1,818 deaths, making up 55.5% of all London deaths and 20.8% of all COVID-19 deaths.

    Back to table of contents

    6. Deaths registered in the year-to-date, Week 1 to 16

    Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths is currently higher than the five-year average. The current number of deaths is 207,301, which is 22,085 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 17 April 2020, 19,112 mentioned the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the death certificate; this is 9.2% of all deaths.

    In each age group, except those aged 1 to 14 years, there have been more deaths involving COVID-19 in males than in females. There were two female deaths in the 1 to 14 years age group but no males. The largest difference was in the 75 to 84 years age group where there were 4,063 deaths involving COVID-19 in males and 2,434 in females.

    Back to table of contents

    7. Deaths registered by place of occurrence

    The year-to-date analysis shows that, of deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) up to Week 16 (week ending 17 April 2020) , 77.4% (14,796 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (3,096 deaths), private homes (883 deaths) and hospices (190 deaths).

    When looking at the change in total deaths registered by place of occurrence between Week 15 and Week 16, we see that the number of deaths in care homes has increased from 4,927 deaths to 7,316 (48.5%). There has also been a 10.0% increase (8,578 deaths to 9,434) in deaths occurring in hospitals, and an 11.0% increase in deaths occurring in private homes (4,117 deaths to 4,570).

    When looking in more detail at the large increase in care home deaths, we see that in Week 15, care home deaths made up 26.6% of all deaths, which has risen to 32.7% of all deaths in Week 16. In Week 16, the proportion of deaths in care homes involving COVID-19 was 28.0% (2,050 deaths).

    Figure 7 is based on date of death registered up to 25 April, rather than date of registration. This means as more deaths are registered, deaths per day are likely to increase, especially later dates. On each day most deaths occurred in hospital, however, we are starting to see more deaths occurring in private homes and care homes.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Public Health England to better understand deaths that are occurring in care homes. From 28 April, we have published counts of deaths reported by care home operators to CQC involving COVID-19. More information can be found in our comparisons article.

    Back to table of contents

    8. Deaths data

    Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
    Dataset | Released 28 April 2020
    Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available. Includes data on the coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths.

    Back to table of contents

    9. Glossary

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths are those deaths registered in England and Wales in the stated week where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate as “deaths involving COVID-19”. A doctor can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required.

    Back to table of contents

    10. Measuring the data

    Week 16 includes the Easter Monday bank holiday. Based on past years, we would expect the proportion of deaths occurring in the week including Easter Monday to drop for the period. The Coronavirus Act 2020 permitted Registry Offices to continue to take death registrations over the holiday period this year. This may reduce the usual drop in registration of deaths occurring in the week.

    Registry Offices to continue to take death registrations over the holiday period this year. This may reduce the usual drop in registration of deaths occurring in the week.

    More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Mortality statistics in England and Wales QMI.

    To meet user needs, we publish very timely but provisional counts of death registrations in England and Wales in our Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional dataset. These are presented by sex, age group and regions (within England) as well as for Wales as a whole. To allow time for registration and processing, these figures are published 11 days after the week ends. Because of the rapidly changing situation, in this bulletin we have also given provisional updated totals based on the latest available death registrations, up to 25 April 2020.

    Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our regular weekly deaths release now provides a separate breakdown of the numbers of deaths involving COVID-19: that is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions. If a death certificate mentions COVID-19 it will not always be the main cause of death, but may be a contributory factor. This new bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic.

    These figures are different from the daily surveillance figures on COVID-19 deaths published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the GOV.UK website, for the UK as a whole and constituent countries. Figures in this report are derived from the formal process of death registration and may include cases where the doctor completing the death certificate diagnosed possible cases of COVID-19, for example, where this was based on relevant symptoms but no test for the virus was conducted. Our figures also include any deaths that occur outside hospital.

    In contrast to the GOV.UK figures, we include only deaths registered in England and Wales, which is the legal remit of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Table 1 provides an overview of the differences in definitions between sources.

    We will publish accompanying articles periodically, giving enhanced information such as age-standardised and age-specific mortality rates for recent time periods and breakdowns of deaths involving COVID-19 by associated pre-existing health conditions.

    Within the accompanying dataset we have also provided weekly provisional figures on COVID-19 deaths registered in the UK along with age breakdowns by UK and sex and age breakdowns by Great Britain estimates.

    There is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration. More information on this issue can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

    Our User guide to mortality statistics provides further information on data quality, legislation and procedures relating to mortality and includes a glossary of terms.

    Back to table of contents

    11. Strengths and limitations

    Figures are based on the date the death was registered, not when it occurred. There is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration. More information on this issue can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

    Back to table of contents

    Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

    Sarah Caul
    health.data@ons.gov.uk
    Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456 490