Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 19 June 2020

Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 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:
30 June 2020

Next release:
7 July 2020

2. Main points

  • The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 19 June 2020 (Week 25) was 9,339, this was 637 lower than Week 24.

  • In Week 25, the number of deaths registered was 0.7% below the five-year average (65 deaths fewer), this is the first time weekly deaths have been below the five-year average since Week 11; the number of deaths in care homes and hospitals were also fewer than the five-year average (49 and 782 deaths lower respectively), while the number of deaths at home was 827 higher than the five-year average.

  • Of the deaths registered in Week 25, 783 mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)", the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 12 weeks; accounting for 8.4% of all deaths in England and Wales.

  • In Week 25, the proportion of deaths occurring in care homes decreased to 20.7% while deaths involving COVID-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes decreased to 12.9%.

  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease across all English regions, with four of the nine having fewer overall deaths than the five-year average in Week 25.

  • In Wales, the total number of deaths was above the five-year average (44 deaths higher) for Week 25 while the number of deaths involving COVID-19 fell to 39 deaths registered (from 57 deaths in Week 24).

  • Of all deaths in England and Wales involving COVID-19 registered up to Week 25, 63.5% occurred in hospital with the remainder mainly occurring in care homes (29.7%), private homes (4.6%) and hospices (1.4%).

  • The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 19 June 2020 (Week 25) was 10,681, which was similar to the five-year average (8 deaths fewer); of the deaths registered in the UK in Week 25, 849 deaths involved COVID-19.

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3. Deaths registered by week

Figure 1: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased for the ninth consecutive week

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 19 June 2020

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The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales decreased from 9,976 in Week 24 (week ending 12 June 2020) to 9,339 in Week 25 (week ending 19 June 2020). The number of deaths was 0.7% below the five-year average (65 fewer deaths) (Figure 1). This is the first time weekly deaths have been below the five-year average since Week 11 (week ending 13 March 2020). More information is in Measuring the data.

The number of deaths registered in Week 20 was impacted by the early May Bank Holiday (on Friday 8 May 2020, in Week 19); the impact of the early May Bank Holiday was analysed in our Week 20 bulletin. Week 22 also included the late May Bank Holiday (on Monday 25 May 2020), so trends seen in Weeks 22 and 23 should also be interpreted with caution.

The number of death registrations involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased from 1,114 in Week 24 to 783 in Week 25, the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths registered in the last 12 weeks. Of all deaths registered in Week 25, 8.4% mentioned COVID-19; down from 11.2% in Week 24.

The number of deaths in England and Wales decreased in Week 25. In England, there was a decrease from 9,391 in Week 24 to 8,716 in Week 25, which was 94 fewer than the Week 25 average. Of the Week 25 deaths, 8.5% (744 deaths) involved COVID-19 in England.

In Wales, the number of deaths increased by 43 in Week 25 to 617, 44 deaths above the five-year average. Of these, 6.3% (39 deaths) involved COVID-19.

The number of deaths mentioning "Influenza and Pneumonia" on the death certificate (without COVID-19) increased from 996 in Week 24 to 1,002 in Week 25 but remained below the five-year average. The number of deaths that mentioned both "Influenza and Pneumonia" and COVID-19 on the death certificate decreased to 316, compared with 449 deaths in Week 24.

In Week 25, 19.1% of all deaths mentioned "Influenza and Pneumonia", COVID-19, or both compared with 21.2% in Week 24. "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.

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Figure 2: The number of excess deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 19 June 2020

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As COVID-19 was not a cause of death prior to 2020, any deaths involving COVID-19 appear in the counts above the five-year average and are counted as excess deaths. This means that when the number of deaths involving COVID-19 is higher than the number of excess deaths, the bar indicating deaths not involving COVID-19 makes a negative contribution.

Between Weeks 1 and 12, 138,916 deaths were registered, which was 4,822 less than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 25, 187,711 deaths were registered, which was 59,187 more than the five-year average. Week 25 showed a continuation of the decreasing trend in excess deaths involving COVID-19 (Figure 2). Detailed analysis on non-COVID-19 related deaths is available in Analysis of death registrations not involving coronavirus (COVID-19).

Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 19 June 2020 was 326,600, which is 54,338 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 19 June, 49,371 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate; 15.1% of all deaths in England and Wales.

Looking at the year-to-date for England and Wales separately, the number of deaths for England was 306,948, which is 52,586 (20.7%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 46,904 deaths (15.3%) mentioned COVID-19. In Wales, the number of deaths up to 19 June was 19,158, which is 2,003 (12.0%) more than the five-year average; of these, 2,396 deaths (12.5%) mentioned COVID-19.

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4. Deaths registered by age group

Figure 3: Over a fifth of all deaths involving COVID-19 were of people aged 90 years and over in Week 25

Deaths by age group, England and Wales, week ending 19 June 2020

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In Week 25, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in all age-groups aged 45 to 49 years and over compared with Week 24. But, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 remained higher in the older age groups, than in younger age groups (Figure 3). The highest proportions of deaths involving COVID-19 were of people aged 80 to 84 years and 85 to 89 years, where 10.5% and 10.3% of deaths involved COVID-19, respectively.

Looking at the year-to-date, for most age groups, there have been more deaths involving COVID-19 in males than in females (Figure 4). Across Weeks 1 to 25 of 2020, 55.1% of all deaths involving COVID-19 were males. However, there were more deaths in females aged 85 years and over (11,286) than males (9,566). This could be because the over-85 years female population (939,000) is larger than the over-85 male population (564,000) in England and Wales.

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5. Deaths by region in England and Wales

Figure 5: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 was highest in the North West for the fourth consecutive week

Deaths by regions in England, and Wales, week ending 19 June 2020

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Figure 6: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered across all English regions and Wales continued decreasing

Deaths by region in England, and Wales, week ending 19 June 2020

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In Week 25 (week ending 19 June 2020), there were 39 deaths involving COVID-19 registered in Wales. Out of the English regions, the North West had the largest number of deaths involving COVID-19 (134 deaths), whereas Yorkshire and The Humber had the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19, with 11.7% of all deaths. More detailed geographical analysis between 1 March and 31 May 2020 can be found in our Deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation release.

Though the number of deaths was highest in the South East (1,411 deaths), this was 3.8% lower than the five-year average for the region. Wales had the highest percentage of deaths above the five-year average in Week 25 (7.7%) and the East Midlands had the highest percentage of deaths above the five-year average (6.6%) in the English regions. The number of deaths registered in Week 25 was similar to, or lower than, the five-year average in: West Midlands, North West, East of England, South East and South West (Table 1).

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6. Deaths registered by place of occurrence

The year-to-date analysis shows that, of deaths involving COVID-19 up to Week 25 (week ending 19 June 2020), 63.5% (31,364 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (14,658 deaths), private homes (2,259 deaths), hospices (684 deaths), other communal establishments (221 deaths), and elsewhere (185 deaths).

The proportion of deaths from all causes that occurred in care homes continued to decrease, to 20.7% in Week 25. The proportion of care home deaths that involved COVID-19 also decreased; 12.9% of all deaths in care homes involved COVID-19 in Week 25, compared with 17.3% in Week 24.

Between Week 24 and Week 25, the number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased or remained similar across all settings. The proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 occurring in hospitals decreased to 58.5% in Week 25 (compared with 59.7% in Week 24). The proportion of deaths occurring in care homes also decreased (from 33.1% in Week 24 to 31.8% in Week 25).

Figure 8: The number of excess deaths decreased in all settings

Number of excess deaths by place of death between Week 1 and Week 25 of 2020 by place of occurrence, England and Wales

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In Week 25, the number of excess deaths decreased in all settings compared with Week 24. Deaths in most settings were below the five-year average, with care home deaths lower than the five-year average for the first time since Week 11 (week ending 13 March 2020). The only setting with excess deaths (above the five-year average) was private homes (827 deaths in Week 25, fewer than the 923 excess deaths at home seen in Week 24).

Figure 9 is based on date of death for deaths registered up to 27 June 2020, rather than date of registration. This means as more deaths are registered, deaths per day are likely to increase, especially later dates.

Looking at the average number of deaths in Week 25, deaths occurring in hospitals have accounted for 62.9% of deaths and care homes have accounted for 30.8% of all deaths involving COVID-19, this may change as more deaths are registered. Although we expect numbers of deaths to increase as more are registered, it currently appears that deaths per day are decreasing.

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.

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7. Deaths registered in the UK

Across the UK, there were 10,681 deaths (all causes) registered in Week 25 (ending 19 June), of which 849 deaths involved COVID-19. This was 8 deaths fewer than the UK five-year average.

There were 5 deaths involving COVID-19 in the UK in Week 11 (ending 13 March); this increased to 9,495 deaths registered in Week 16 (ending 17 April) but has fallen to 849 deaths registered in Week 25. In Week 25, England had the highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 with 744 deaths, followed by Scotland with 49 deaths, Wales with 39 deaths and Northern Ireland with 17 deaths.

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8. Deaths data

Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
Dataset | Released 30 June 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.

Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and health board
Dataset | Released 30 June 2020
Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), by local authority, health board and place of death in the latest weeks for which data are available.

Number of deaths in care homes notified to the Care Quality Commission, England
Dataset | Released 30 June 2020
Provisional counts of deaths in care homes caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) by local authority. Published by the Office for National Statistics and Care Quality Commission.

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  • Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and place of death
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    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. A doctor can certify the involvement of COVID-19 based on symptoms and clinical findings – a positive test result is not required.

    Definitions of COVID-19 for deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland are similar to England and Wales.

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    10. Measuring the data

    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 27 June 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.

    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.

    From 29 April 2020, DHSC started to publish as their daily announced figures on deaths from COVID-19 for the UK, a new series that uses improved data for England produced by Public Health England (PHE). These figures provide a count of all deaths where a positive test for COVID-19 has been confirmed, wherever that death has taken place, a change from previously reporting only confirmed COVID-19 deaths in hospitals. Figures for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already begun to include deaths outside hospitals, so this change ensured that the UK-wide series has a shared and common definitional coverage. A statement was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which provides more detail of the changes.

    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.

    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.

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    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.

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    Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

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