The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 20 March 2020 (week 12) was 10,645; this represents a decrease of 374 deaths registered compared with the previous week (week 11).
The average number of deaths for the corresponding week over the previous five years was 10,573; this means that the overall number of deaths in week 12 of 2020 was slightly higher than previous years.
Of the deaths registered in week 12, 103 mentioned novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which is 1.0% of all deaths.
This is lower than the figures reported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as it takes time for deaths to be reported.
If we analyse the data by date of death and look at registrations after 20 March, then 181 deaths involving COVID-19 occurred in week 12, which is higher than the figures the DHSC publish as it includes deaths related to COVID-19 that took place outside of hospitals and those not tested for COVID-19.
This number is different from the count of deaths published on the GOV.UK website because of different reporting methods and timing: Office for National Statistics (ONS) weekly deaths figures are based on deaths registered in the stated week, and we have counted all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate as “deaths involving COVID-19”; the GOV.UK figures are based on deaths occurring to date, among hospital patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, and include deaths that have not yet been registered.
A total of 138,913 deaths were registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 20 March 2020 (year to date), and of these, 108 involved COVID-19 (0.1%); including deaths that occurred up to 20 March but were registered up to 25 March, the number involving COVID-19 was 210.
These 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 is available in our impact of registration delays release).
The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in week 12 (week ending 20 March 2020) decreased from 11,019 in week 11 (week ending 13 March 2020) to 10,645; this is 72 more deaths than the five-year average of 10,573. The number of death registrations involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) increased from 5 in week 11 to 103 in week 12. Including deaths that occurred in week 12 but were registered up to 25 March, the number involving COVID-19 was 181 (this is not shown in the chart).
In week 12, 18% of all deaths mentioned “Influenza or Pneumonia”, COVID-19, or both. In comparison, for the five-year average, 20% 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.
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In week 12 (week ending 20 March 2020), there were no deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the two youngest age groups (that is, those aged 1 year or under and those aged 1 to 14 years). There were 20 deaths among those aged 65 to 74 years, which was 1.1% of deaths of that age group, the highest proportion. The highest number of deaths in a specific age group occurred in those aged 85 years and over, with 45 deaths (1.1% of deaths in this age group).Back to table of contents
In week 12 (week ending 20 March 2020), there was one death involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) registered in both the North East and South West. The largest number of deaths in a specific region was 44 deaths in London; this is also the region with the highest proportion of COVID-19 deaths, with 4.4% of all deaths in London.Back to table of contents
Looking at the year-to-date (using refreshed data to get the most accurate estimates), the number of deaths is currently lower than the five-year average. The current number of deaths is 138,913, which is 4,869 fewer than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered so far in 2020, 108 mentioned the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the death certificate; this is 0.1% of all deaths. Including deaths that occurred in week 12 but were registered up to 25 March, the number involving COVID-19 was 210 (this is not shown in the chart).Back to table of contents
Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional
Dataset | Released 31 March 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.
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”. These figures do not include deaths that have not yet been registered and so differ from the GOV.UK figures (which are deaths occurring to date).Back to table of contents
We publish timely but provisional counts of death registrations in England and Wales each week alongside our annual bulletin. To meet user needs in the current situation, we are including data and additional analysis on deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) for the first time.
The data include information on age, sex and region in the latest weeks for which data are available. To allow time for registration and processing, the data are published 11 days after the week ends.Back to table of contents
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.
More quality and methodology information on strengths and limitations is available in the Mortality statistics in England and Wales QMI.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456490